Today - how do I put my feelings into words?
Words that others will understand....words that will help me understand.
Sadness, confusion, incomplete"ness," weight, weak, crying....
But, yet, even as I think about these words I realize there are others.
Thankful, recognition, appreciation, strength, thoughtful, smiling....
Is it possible to have these feelings at the same time?
Why do I feel torn between these two extremes?
What is it - why can't I just feel apathetic...somewhere in the middle?
Apathy - this is a feeling I do not understand...it is like feeling nothing.
Is it easier for me to feel nothing? It is easier for me to just ignore my feelings?
This does not feel right. I seek something - justice, righteousness...is there something more?
I am a rabbi. I am a father. I am a husband. I am a friend. I am a stranger. I am so many things...
I am human first...nothing else take precedence. I was born a human - everything else came afterwards.
I know it is not possible for me to hide away and ignore my confusion...ignore what I feel isn't right.
I know I need to act for what I believe is right...people depend on these actions.
The leader in me knows it is time to act...it is time to lead by example and do something.
God - guide me; show me; instruct me; LEAD me.....
I looked up to the sky and asked, “Do you see color?”
I did not receive a response…at least I thought so at first.
The sun was shining bright and it began to drizzle.
Right in front of me was God’s answer – a Rainbow.
I looked up to the sky once again and said, “Thank you God, I understand.”
As I continued to walk along in the drizzle, I began to smile.
I didn’t smile because I was satisfied or happy.
No, I smiled because I knew God was listening, watching, aware.
Dear God – help us today to help the children.
Dear God – help us today to set aside our differences in opinion or thought.
Dear God – help us today to learn, really learn from our history.
Dear God – help us today to never forget – and more importantly to remember those words and what they mean.
My heart is in pain, my head hurts and I want to know why.
Why are our children – humanity’s children – suffering?
More importantly, why are they suffering due to our actions?
You see – even if you are not directly acting, but standing idle, you are acting.
Picture a child in a cage – crying, scared, terrified, wanting Mom and Dad, sister, brother…
God – help me to turn my rage into hope; no, turn my rage into direct action.
Guide me in Your ways – in the ways of tolerance, kindness and love.
Send a reminder to those who have forgotten what is right in Your eyes.
All of the prophets – Moses, Jesus, Muhammad – all of them are crying.
Why? Because people are performing such horrible acts in their Good Names.
Let us return – to God – to humanity – to love – to kindness – to being Human.
ברוך אתה אלוהים שמגן על ילדינו ומלמד אותנו חסד
Blessed are you God who protects our children and teaches us kindness.
Sometimes the "news of the day" infuriates me. Today, this is true. However, what infuriates me even more is that there are people who defend the treatment of human beings as animals. We can disagree about policy and political party. We can disagree about laws and political practices. We cannot and must not disagree when it comes to the way people are treated. When we begin to treat other humans like they are animals, we are no better than animals.
Let's just say that you believe someone who illegally enters the United States has broken a law. Ok - I will give you that. However, have you considered the reasons why they are running away from their own countries? Sure, there may be some (a VERY small percentage) who come to the United States with the wrong intentions or reasons. This is a small percentage. The overwhelming majority of people who come to the United States (legally or illegally) are coming because they seek to live better lives for their families...and more often than not it is for their children.
Would you disagree with that desire?
Imagine for a moment you were born in a different country and you did not have the same opportunities you have today. I know that some will say - I came from nothing and I worked hard, very hard to become the successful person I am today. True - but if you were born in the United States, you already were born with more privileges and opportunities than those that seek to move here.
Would you want people who live in the United States to turn you down and force you back to the "hell" you came from? Would it be ok if your children were taken from you and placed in cages like animals?
I am not one to invoke the memory of the Holocaust. This catastrophic episode in human history is in a "category of its own." However, there are some scary similarities to pre-Holocaust Germany and the United States of 2018.
Human beings - no matter where they are from - should be treated as human beings. Period.
It does not matter if you are a democrat, republican, libertarian or not affiliated with any party. It does not matter if you are black, white, Hispanic, Asian or anything else. It does not matter if you are a man, woman, trans man, trans woman or if you do not identify with a gender. It does not matter if you are young, old or young at heart.
What does matter is that human beings are being treated like animals. Children are being treated like animals. Legal or not legal - these are human beings being treated like dogs/beasts. No prophet or religious leader - not Moses, Jesus, Muhammad or any other would approve or agree that their words justify this kind of disgusting action.
What does matter is that as human beings (not as Americans) we recognize and understand that every other human being on earth deserves to be treated as a human being.
There is no justification or reasoning that validates this behavior. Period.
I am a husband, father and rabbi - just trying to help to make the world a better place!