After Election Teaching from Rabbi

rabbi_naomi's picture

As we catch our breath at this dramatic moment in history, I have a few thoughts to share.

There is cause to be concerned that rhetoric of the campaign has emboldened hate groups.  Prominent white supremacists have expressed elation over the election results.  Efforts to improve security at the Temple have been underway for some time, and we have a meeting of the Security Committee scheduled for next Tuesday, November 15, from 5:30 to 6:30, before the Board Meeting.  I will be available to continue meeting with members for discussion and prayer after the Board convenes.  In spring of 2015, Eureka Police Department’s Captain Stephens met with us at the Temple and proposed various security procedures that we have yet to implement.  Some of us also attended a security forum presented by the EPD this spring.  We have several strategies to consider.  Please join us on Tuesday to discuss how to implement new security measures and to share any concerns you have.

I am aware that the election results are deeply disturbing for many members of our congregation.  To those members I offer the lyric to a song:

Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav used to say, Friends do not despair!
When a difficult time is upon us, joy must fill the air!
We must not lose our faith in living, we must not despair.
When a difficult time is upon us, joy must fill the air!

The joy of which Rebbe Nachman speaks is the deep spiritual experience of appreciation for the gifts of life, regardless of the challenges of current circumstances.   In the spirit of this teaching, I encourage each of you to take extra time this week and in the coming months to count your blessings.  Traditionally, Shabbat is a time of positive thinking and gratitude, a time when many of us take a break from discussing or even thinking about politics, problems and worries. If you have not tried this Shabbat practice in the past, I suggest that you do so now.  Light candles on Friday night and give yourself permission to let the weight of the world slip away.  When your thoughts take you into sadness, gently draw your attention back to subjects that nourish your soul.  If you are seeking to be with community, Barbara Carnam will be leading a family Shabbat celebration tomorrow; come enjoy making Shabbos with our sweet children.  On Saturday night our guest storytellers are sure to life spirits as well.  I look forward to gathering with many of you for a special Shabbat of Thanks the day after Thanksgiving.

We have witnessed a series of unprecedented events that may bring about changes in our political system for years to come.  It will be a dynamic time with many challenges, but perhaps also some new opportunities and new ways of looking at the civic life of our nation.

B’shalom , In Peace,
Rabbi Naomi