Today is thirty-nine days, which is five weeks and four days of the Omer in the year 5782. נצח שביסוד, Netzach ShebeYesod, Enduring Bonding. What binds us to the path, even in the face of evil? When children are slaughtered at school and Black shoppers are murdered by a racist, how do you stay connected to the Divine?
Brokenness Surrounds Us
My website was originally called “broken rabbi.” I was so full of joy for the depth of Jewish mysticism that I wanted to shout from the rooftops how impossible perfection is. I swam in the truth that “there is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.”
And yet, that understanding cannot make sense of the death that we are surrounded by.
U.S. culture is broken. Yes, we need stricter gun laws. We also need to face our brokenness.
I’m not an expert on mass shootings or school safety.
I know that people are scared. Politicians, internet platforms, gun sellers: they’re all making hefty coin from our fear.
I was a member of Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom because all of these issues are interconnected. You cannot stop war without resolving racism. The environment will not be saved without eliminating nuclear power and nuclear weapons. Racism and fascism cannot be explained by the phrase “white colonialism.” (I had to leave WILPF when I realized their position on the Israel / Palestine conflict was an existential threat to my own existence.) Everything is interconnected.
We must face the pain directly. We must acknowledge that evil exists. We must make space for mourning while simultaneously challenging politicians to get control of the guns in the U.S.
Turn Towards the Light
The Enduring Foundation of our collective soul is cracking. We must band together against the forces of darkness clamoring to take over. Together, we must turn towards the light.
I held my kids tightly this evening. Like every night, my husband and I put them to sleep chanting the Shema. We are committed to raising our Chinese Jewish kids with compassion, love, and belief in the Divine. Yet, we know those principles do not guide all people in the world. Let us do our parts to help bend the moral arc of the universe towards justice and create a future worthy of the inspirational people who preceded us, like Rev Dr King, Jr. and Emily Greene Balch.
39 Days of the Omer through time…
Image via Pixabay.