Finding Our “Different Spirit” for Gay Pride Month

June is Pride Month, & we're looking for Jewish LGBT stories, both personal & congregational, for our blog! Check out our writing guidelines (, & submit your 300- to 800-word essay to for consideration.

When the Israelite scouts went to survey the land in last week’s Torah portion Shlach Lecha from the Book of Numbers, were Caleb and Joshua really the only ones who saw the land of Israel as a land flowing with milk and honey?  Or, as the midrash (legend) asks, were there others who shared this dissenting view but chose to keep silent.  Perhaps what makes Caleb special is his description in the Torah as having a ruach acheret, a different spirit.  It’s the ruach acheret that compells us to speak out, even when we hold the dissenting view (based on last week’s Union for Reform Judaism Ten Minutes of Torah).  (Thank you to the URJ for this image).