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Note from Rabbi Seidel after the Election

November 9, 2016

A Note from Rabbi Seidel after the Election

       First, I want to note that this political upheaval, while distressing to many, is also welcomed - perhaps by only a few in our congregation, but clearly by many in America.  Secondly, let me note that though there is much I am worried about, there is also much for us to do. 

       I worry about the health of our democracy, the health of our economy, a diminished role and reputation of our country in the world.  I worry that the ugly notes of racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism which were sounded in the campaign will not dissipate in the Trump administration.  I worry about our congregants: some of us may lose our jobs under the new administration; most of us will suffer if the economy tanks.  But I am also worried about the state of our Union.  As Janet Nesse noted on the TI listserve, we need to be talking to those we disagree with, trying to find common ground.  Perhaps even Trump himself will prove to be more stable and open-hearted as a leader than he was as a candidate.

       It's important for us to remember that however unsettling this current state of affairs, unexpected events are hardly unprecedented in American, or Jewish, history.  As the Psalmist reminds us (24:2) - God "founded the world on waters; atop rivers God established it."  In other words, existence is inherently unstable.  But we forget this during quieter times.  We forget that the circumstances of our lives are constantly shifting, regularly requiring that we readjust to new realities. 

       Who knows what this new political reality will require of us?  But in general terms, we do know: we are still here to be servants of the Holy One.  That much has not changed.  And what's more, we live in a place in which we still have a certain sphere of influence, an opportunity to serve.  Thus, though on one level this new era is full of uncertainty, on another level, we are called just as we have always been, to look out for others - in our community, and also farther afield.

             חזק, חזק, ונתחזק!

Be strong, be strong - we will strengthen each other.

Rabbi Seidel