Her death on the eve of Rosh Hashanah also has significance in Jewish tradition, rabbis and friends said. “One of the themes of Rosh Hashanah suggest that very righteous people would die at the very end of the year because they were needed until the very end,” said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Those who die on the new year holiday are considered “tzadik,” a title given to the righteous and saintly.
“God has held back until the last moment bc they were needed most & were the most righteous,” National Public Radio journalist Nina Totenberg, a close friend of Ginsburg, wrote on Twitter.
Ginsburg, born in 1933, said her life’s work was shaped by the Holocaust. “It makes you more empathetic to other people who are not insiders, who are outsiders,” she said in an interview in 2018.
Jacobs also noted Ginsburg was named for the biblical Ruth, the grandmother of the Jewish king David, and the person through whom redemption is supposed to come.
“I like to think of our Ruth, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in terms of the generation to come that will carry on her legacy and do what she did – which is to repair many of the injustices of our world,” he said.
“All of us are her descendants and we must carry on the challenging work of fighting for justice.” (Reporting by Andrea Shalal, Richard Cowan and Alexandra Alper Editing by Chris Reese)