HOUSTON – Condolences are pouring in for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who spent more than a quarter of a century on the bench of the nation’s highest court.
Honored as a feminist icon, a champion of truth and the second woman to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg was also the first Jewish woman to hold the position.
Ginsburg died Friday evening, at the age of 87, surrounded by family in her home in Washington D.C., due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. Her death coincided with the eve of Rosh Hashanah, a High Holiday that commemorates the Jewish New Year.
She was nominated to the nation’s highest bench in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. In her Rose Garden nomination ceremony, Clinton lauded Ginsburg for standing with the “the outsider in society … telling them that they have a place in our legal system, by giving them a sense that the Constitution and the laws protect all the American people, not simply the powerful.”
Ginsburg attributed that outsider perspective to her Jewish roots, pointing often to her heritage as a building block of her perspective on the bench, according to a report by the Jewish Telegraph Agency.
Among messages honoring and remembering Justice Ginsburg, the Jewish community also noted the significance of the date of her death in Judaism. They wrote that according to Jewish tradition, one who dies on the High Holiday is considered a “Tzadik," a title given in Judaism to people considered righteous.
See what some mourners wrote below:
According to Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah, which began tonight, is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness. Baruch Dayan HaEmet.— Ruth Franklin (@ruth_franklin) September 19, 2020
Rosh Hashanah began tonight, the new year. This group gathered to say Jewish prayers and sing for RBG. pic.twitter.com/BU1LmzuJ0x— Chelsea Cirruzzo ⚡️ (@ChelseaCirruzzo) September 19, 2020
On Rosh Hashanah -the Jewish new year - a time that leads to reflection and repentance as people prepare for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, may G-d grant her wish and lead us all to repent of the injustices she fought against, particularity inequality of women. RIP RBG pic.twitter.com/Zvdpd0etfK— RevDaniel SMMS (@RevDaniel) September 19, 2020
According to midrash (Jewish wisdom), only the most righteous people die on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. It signifies that they were given the full measure of a year. May her memory be a blessing.— Caroline Mandell (@cjmandell) September 18, 2020
Our Jewish heroine passed away today. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, champion of equality, dies at 87 on Rosh Hashanah eve.— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) September 19, 2020
Rest in power pic.twitter.com/fOEKEumL96
For those who are not familiar with Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah is a tzaddik. This translates to a person of great righteousness. Rosh Hashanah began tonight. Many of us were reciting the Mourner's Kaddish when Justice Ginsburg's death was announced.— Steve Kastenbaum (@SKastenbaum) September 19, 2020
RBG died on Rosh Hashanah. Jewish tradition says that people who die that day are called Tzadiks, people with human frailties but have superhuman abilities to make the world a better place. RBG lived her life for all of us without regard to our identities. She was a Tzadik.— Bradd Silver (@miltsdad) September 19, 2020
There is a Jewish tradition that the most righteous die on the eve of Rosh Hashanah (the very end of the year) - that is, in their year to pass, they were given as much of it as possible. #RIPRuthBaderGinsburg; her memory will be a blessing for generations.— Leora Horwitz (@leorahorwitzmd) September 19, 2020