Sunday, November 13, 2016

Morning After Thoughts

A couple of weeks ago I sent out a “Prayer Before Voting” which ends with the following words:

Creator of all flesh, we know also that the real work begins tomorrow morning. Whether or not I am pleased with the outcome of this election, help me to be a good citizen and work for understanding and reconciliation among all Americans. May we continue to work for the day when none shall hurt or destroy, when justice shall flow like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

That morning has now arrived. Based on the results in Montgomery County and also on the usual breakdown of the Jewish vote, most of you reading this are not pleased but some of you are. Now that the election is over, the hard work begins.

A few scattered thoughts:

  1. We really are two countries, almost evenly divided in population. One of the things which I’ve not seen receive too much notice is that although Donald Trump won the Electoral College, Hillary Clinton seems to have won the popular vote by over 100,000. We have got to, as a nation, figure out how to speak with each other more civilly, try to work together and try to understand each other.
  2. Our tradition wisely gives us a road map for dealing with grief and loss. When emotions are at their most raw we don’t do anything but focus on our loss. But there is a time limit. After sitting shiva we get up and ease back into our lives. If this describes you, it’s OK, in fact probably a good idea, to take some time and work through your grief. My only advice to you is be careful how you treat yourself and those around you for the next few days.
  3. If you supported the winning side, congratulations. Just be aware that many people around you are in shock and grief. Be compassionate. Treat them as you would want to be treated.
  4. Our commitments as Jews and as human beings don’t change or waver depending on who is in power. We are called to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. This hasn’t changed.

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