The World Turned Upside-Down
My guess is that, like all of us at Mishkan, you’ve spent much of the day processing the events of the last 24 hours. Deep disappointment, outrage, anxiety, sadness and even terror have been among feelings expressed by people I’ve spoken with today. “I woke up and didn’t recognize America,” someone said. “What kind of bubble have I been living in?”
It’s hard to imagine saying anything that hasn’t already been said. So let me share a few things that have been said by people I admire and respect, and whose words we can hold tightly to as we move into the coming four years.
The Morning After
The sun will come up, and I will get up from my restless night,
heart heavy, and go about my day.
There will be beauty in the world, and laughter, and music,
There will be a community of like-minded friends with whom to commiserate,
and a long laundry list of ways to make a difference.
Yes, there must be a sense of responsibility:
to shake off the malaise, the numbness, the shock,
to understand the forces that led us here,
to help comfort the discomfited,
to participate in the healing of the brokenness,
and with urgency.
We will act out of conviction,
knowing that democracy is not a spectator sport.
We will grieve, and rage, and wonder how and why,
but we will need to learn patience.
For like the Phoenix – long-lived and regenerative –
our day will come again.
Love does trump hate,
and, though long,
the arc of the moral universe does bent towards justice.
– Rabbi Pamela Wax
We can and must fight for love and for justice. But make no mistake: a commitment to love and to justice will require a willingness to resist; resistance takes courage, and courage is a rare commodity indeed. Let us hold each other tight and keep reminding ourselves: Love and justice. Love and justice. Love and justice. It is as simple and as excruciatingly difficult as that. – Rabbi Shai Held
One of Mishkan’s founding core values is radical inclusivity. In the face of myriad ugly identity-phobias that have surfaced over the course of this campaign, we will redouble our efforts to create safe, loving and inclusive space within our community and beyond it. We will double down on our partnerships with organizations building relationships with immigrants and refugees, and fighting to root out systemic racism and all its forms.
Despair is a privilege of the bourgeois. We have not stopped believing in America and our ability to make a difference in this country, and right here locally. If you’re feeling despair right now, send Rabbi Lauren an email and join us for our Kick-off Justice Team Gathering on Nov 28th and find ways to get involved. Lord knows, America needs you now more than ever– in your light, in your fearlessness, even in your anger, and most especially in your commitment to the dignity and flourishing of all people, as is God’s vision for humanity that we read in Genesis only two weeks ago.
In peace, in love and in relentless, persistent hope for the future,
Rabbi Lizzi + Team Mishkan
I grew up in Montreal, the daughter of immigrant parents from Egypt and Syria. Even though my parents were French citizens, they were denied entry to the US, because my father was born in Syria. Ironic that today, the same issue is emerging.
Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.
I moved to the US for better opportunities than were available in Quebec. As a Jew and a feminist, I wanted to be in the US, where there was much more progressive thinking. I lived through the FLQ crisis, when a Parliament member was murdered and the army came in to restore order. It was disorienting to see the military with guns all over the city.
Ultimately the separatist movement, voted into office, lost momentum. Democracy prevailed and Quebec stayed part of Canada.
Hopefully we can learn from history, from lands near and far to get us back to the guiding force of freedom and liberty. We stand united by what we can accomplish together.