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The Welfare of our Country

01/07/2021 10:09:02 AM

Jan7

Every year I travel with teens in our confirmation class to Washington D.C.  The halls of the Capitol Building and the office buildings for the Senate and the House are familiar to me.  Each year, as I watch our teens meet with congressional officials, I am heartened by the fact that we live in a democracy in which citizens can make appointments with their elected representatives and advocate for the issues which they hold dear. 

Yesterday, I was heartbroken to see a mob swarm and desecrate our Capitol building in an attempt to uproot our democracy, an attempt encouraged by the president.  Did we ever imagine that we would see something like this?  

Jews have long included a prayer for the welfare of our government in our liturgy.  We recognize that our own welfare is intrinsically tied to the welfare of our government.  Many Jews hold the exercise of their rights and responsibilities as citizens as a fundamental Jewish value, as I do.  Many have also devoted their lives to public service. We recognize that the public good is paramount.  Now, more than ever, we need to hold on to that value.

When I met with our confirmation class last night, we talked about what we had seen earlier that day.  We reiterated our belief that it is our responsibility to pay attention to what we had seen and to learn from it.  We reminded ourselves that we have faith that most people are good and want to do the right thing.   At the end of our session, one of our teens said:  "I believe in the people of this country and I believe in our country."  This morning, I hold onto that article of faith. 

Wed, January 26 2022 24 Sh'vat 5782