“The pandora’s box of racism and white supremacy has been reopened… It is time for all of us to resist and to persist. God, help us find the strength as we stand together today not just to offer words of condemnation and consolation, but to do the hard work needed to heal our country before we slide further into the abyss…”
-Rabbi Sharon Brous at an interfaith rally in Los Angeles.
It’s safe to say that we should not expect moral leadership to come from the highest places of power. Jewish tradition has long known this to be the case, and therefore orients us not to expect much of earthly rulers and instead to turn our gaze toward a Higher Power, and toward the cultivating of our own moral voices.
As a spiritual community, our work is to cultivate our moral voice, individually and collectively– and to call out racism and bigotry when we see it, to protest with our words and our bodies; day after day, week after week, year after year, tired though we may be; to uplift the voices within our tradition and the world at large that affirm love in the face of hatred, hope in the face of despair, and truth and justice in the face of power. Our job is to become sanctuaries of that love and that light that uplift and protect people’s bodies and dignity, particularly the most vulnerable and persecuted of people. May the tragic and senseless death of Heather Heyer, and may the upsetting events in Charlottesville, redouble our vision that this is fundamentally what the spiritual life is about.
-Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann