Feeling moved can send us to the wrong place.

One of my research interests is how to make Jewish ritual life more dignified and respectful of people who have been left out, especially Jews with disabilities, Jewish women, and LGBTQ Jews.

Ritual change is very difficult, even when everyone involved means well. One thing it's important to keep in mind is that feeling moved by a ritual is not the same as treating all participants in a ritual as fully human.

In fact, feeling moved can be a problem. Sometimes when communities attempt to include people who have been marginalized, the attempt feels like pretending. Then the already valued members of the community feel moved by their willingness to pretend that the devalued people are equally valuable.

This feeling of being moved makes it harder to develop the visceral sense the everyone involved is *actually* equal. Equality is the truth, but we can be moved by counterproductive ritual into feeling that it is a lie.

This is a very easy mistake to make, and it can be hard to detect. One thing that can help is to be a bit suspicious of the feeling of being moved. When we feel moved, we should ask: Where did I go? Is this where I want us to end up? And what's next?