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Like so many of you, I’ve really been having a hard time lately. So much so that I’ve been left feeling paralyzed. I’m not getting anything done, couldn’t sleep last night and have had nightmares.
I’m Jewish but honestly, I think given my personality and compassionate and sensitive Pisces side (or you know… being human), I think I’d feel this way no matter my religion. Growing up I would come home from Hebrew school after learning about the Holocaust and would continually ask my parents HOW could the President of the United States let this happen? HOW could my family who were in New Jersey and New York, let this happen? HOW could Americans let this happen? I was confused, angry and sad. They referred me to this quote:
“All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” … [TWEET IT]!
which didn’t make me feel much better. But at least (I thought) NOW we know better! Suddenly, I find myself reliving those same thoughts and feelings today, but even more more so since it’s about current events, not (to me) the distant past.
Last night when I was upset, my husband told me that the alt-right rascist Nazis (and Trump and others letting it happen) are by far the MINORITY, and a dying breed. Public opinion keeps moving against them, and the world is progressing without them. They are proud of attracting a few hundred to their rallies, but progressive rallies attract TENS OF THOUSANDS. They are fighting to reclaim a world that no longer exists.
Please do your part to make sure that is so! SPEAK UP, DONATE, GATHER, DISCUSS… do ANYTHING but stay SILENT!
A few weeks ago I was in NJ having my daughter’s baby naming at the same synagogue where I was baby named, bat mitzvahed, married (and divorced…). In that temple I went through all of life’s passages. It is a place I feel safe, and one I felt safe hosting my nearest and dearest, my loved ones – friends and family who flew in my all over the country to celebrate the newest member of our family.
I can’t imagine feeling unsafe in ANY temple or religious house of workshop, be it Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhism, even meditation or yoga studio, etc. I know the ideal is to feel and be safe everywhere, but I think having a refuge for peaceful personal and religious worship is even MORE important in turbulent times like this.
Heather could have easily been me. Or one of my friends, cousins, relatives or colleagues. I know so many people who wouldn’t blink at the opportunity to peacefully stand against racism, hatred, antisemitism, or other affronts to what America means to us.
To help, I am taking ACTION tonight by donating to the Charlottesville Synagogue which was damaged in the recent incident. A member was injured by that asshole driving his car and they need to pay for increase security (obviously). (Other great organizations to donate to are: ADL, Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center…)
I plan to take ACTION again by hosting a potluck bonfire Shabbat dinner on Friday to help friends and community gather and discuss how we can continue to take action and to share, heal and grow stronger.
Of course you don’t have to donate, nor do you have to host a dinner, but what can YOU do right now, today, this week to make a difference? Even just posting on social media so others know you are in solidarity and supporting those who are scared, lost, afraid, frightened and don’t know where to turn helps. You can also pray, meditate or ask the Universe if that’s more your speed.
Please share below what you think! It’s always nice to know you are not alone. Sending LOVE to ALL. We can never share, send or have enough love.
Sweet dreams and stay safe my friends.
One Table / #TogetherAtTheTable
Beth Israel Charlottesville
Southern Poverty Law Center