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Rabbi's Week In Review - 1/25/2021

01/25/2021 02:43:47 AM

Jan25

For many, the past week brought a sense of relief. The oft-asked question was whether we should feel relief, whether we should feel some amount of joy and celebrate the Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. After all, whatever amount of stress and uncertainty has been alleviated, we still have a plethora of problems, problems that existed before 2016 and will not go away overnight.

I have always professed to be more focused on just and moral policy versus advocating for a particular candidate. In that context, we know there is still so much work to be done to create a country and a world where everyone is seen as having been created in G-d’s image, where we all live by the commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves, and where we no longer oppress the stranger in our midst.

While our state, our country and our world are filled with strife and acrimony, we must also take time to recognize moments of joyous meaning. If we are working for a better world, every so often we need to get a taste of what that better world must look like — how it feels to have that better world. That is actually Shabbat. Once each week, we take time to experience what we envision for ourselves in a brighter future.

We also should celebrate what it says about us to have the first woman/first Black woman/first South Asian woman as our vice president. This is emblematic of the welcoming, inclusive and diverse country that makes us stronger. The shalom, the peace, we pray for every day is derived from the word shaleim — the word for wholeness or completeness. When all voices are heard and included, we come closer to the dream for peace.

We will get back to the work of a more just world. We will not forget those who live without the opportunity for celebratory moments. But we also must recognize these moments in which we experience joy and gratitude.  

Fri, March 5 2021 21 Adar 5781