Just yesterday, I was shopping in a local market, and noticed something. All the grown-ups looked like children to me, each one of us unable to hide what was happening in our souls. It might not, actually, be true for all the people I saw, but it was certainly true for many. And then I noticed that I was finally crying.
I've been so consumed responding through prayer, poetry, and activism to this past Friday's horrors in Newtown that I hadn't actually felt anything yet. It came crashing down on me as I stood amongst the organic produce, and I suddenly needed those I love, feeling as unprotected as the child I still am, each of us still is, deep down.
I write this short note to you all, knowing that we each respond differently to trauma and pain. Some us encounter it on a daily basis; some of us find it hard to wake up. And so I am primarily writing to remind you that you are not alone.
There are many loving souls in our community, and there is space for your sadness. We are here for each other. I am here for you, if you just need to talk, or not to talk. Please do not hesitate to call my cell phone.
This coming Thursday, Netivot Shalom will be hosting a conversation with Rabbi Daniel Greyber, author of the book entitled "Faith Unravels: A Rabbi Struggles with Grief and God." Please come. And, if you're far away, find something to share, to study, to convene others. Let's be together and talk honestly about how hard this can be.
I also include here a link to the efforts by PICO, a national faith-based organizing network, with which my shul has partnered many times through their local affiliate. I encourage you to click the image on the right, raise your own awareness, and consider signing.
I am personally working with my brother, Pastor Michael McBride of The Way, a local Church, to rally clergy to sign their clergy letter, with 75 faith leaders signed up so far. We are beginning to plan a likely clergy action in our nation's capital to coincide with the State of the Union this year. I will keep you all posted and reach out for support as this unfolds.
JCPA, a major policy group for the United States Jewish community, is also calling for greater gun control measures, and have begun a campaign, endorsed by an impressive spectrum of establishment leaders. Please click the image on the right, raise your own awareness, and consider signing.
Chevreh, most of all, reach out to each other. We have different needs. But there's a chance that when you reach out to someone else, you'll feel your own soul a little more intensely.
May the days ahead find everyone comforting everyone. Perhaps that's what a hug from God feels like.
We have miles to go before the world will change, but let's start locally, supporting each other. And then let's change the world by naming the need, organizing, and helping.
I had a beautiful day today. I stood with my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.
I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.
Too. Much. War.
The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…