Monday, April 27, 2015

Tiferet b'Netzach


"What the world needs now is love sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of." That is definitely the theme for tonight. Harmony and compassion in endurance is what the people of Baltimore need to see and experience right now. The way for a community to build endurance is to come together in harmony and show compassion to others. Our Jewish tradition teaches us the value of a life. It teaches that to save a life is to save the entire world. Although the actions of certain individual police officers across the country are deplorable we have to remember that there are also good people who are also in uniform. We must remember that institutions are the things that need to change, undergo a real change. We must remember that even our great ancestor, spiritual leader, Moses engaged in dialogue with Pharaoh to get the freedom of the Israelites. Did it happen overnight? NO! However we must remember that G-d hardens Moses heart and that G-d was the one who rained plagues down on the Egyptians. In this story the Israelites took everything that was thrown at them, knowing that someone was fighting on their behalf.

We need to remember that violence begets violence. Hate begets hate. I know some may not have thought of this in this manner and maybe there will be some disagreement over this but I will say it anyway. If we look at most of the wars in history, especially the world wars. Of course if we look at historical reasons we can find other justifications for these wars but the underlying factor for them was hate. If the world community had come together in harmony and displayed compassion to each other they would have endured the hard times and been made stronger for it. Instead the victors of these wars decided to harbor hate and avarice toward the original aggressors. This ill will of course lead to a desperate people being vulnerable and grasping for hope where they could find it. I of course am speaking on Germany between the world wars. Would treating them with respect and compassion have prevented the tragedy of the Holocaust? I don't know, but I do think it would have been a very different climate in world then and today. I am not trying to relate the plight of the black community to that of the Jewish struggle of the Holocaust but I do want to mention that they have a similar root.

The song below shows how we should be responding to these different issues across the country. We must first, before turning to social media to blast people, take a moment and think. What is my role in this? What is the privilege that I have that might cause any good intentions I might have to be perceived as insincere? Do I have the full picture and know everything that is going on? What can I do personally to be an ally to the community? We must start with ourselves. If we set examples of violence and mistrust then we of course will see that manifested in our communities. If we show displays of love, harmony, and compassion we can endure and overcome any troubling time that we may face. Do not give justification to those that ignorantly destroy and harm. We must teach them their actions have consequences and that we can accomplish so much more when we work together in harmony. You catch more flies with honey that with vinegar.

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