One thing that is on many of our minds this Shabbat, as we begin a secular new year, is the alarming rise in anti-Semitism and hatred and violence expressed toward Jews.
To be a Jew, and to participate in this annual ritual, is—I believe--to be able to see our own, as well as others’ humanity, more broadly. We come together on this day not only for ourselves, not only for the community whose destiny we share, but also for the larger collective enterprise that we call humanity.
There, in the midst of an area that is so sullied by such a hateful and violent past, I saw that arc. It is long, very long, as Dr. King said. It is likely even longer than the arc of our own lifetimes. And yet--despite our deepest fears, despite our great uncertainty for the future of this country, I saw that it does indeed bend toward justice. Let me tell you why.
The truth is G-d, I feel that I spend so much of my time trying to “promote” Judaism to others. I’m always trying to get people to “join” our community and participate more because I know the value of doing so; sometimes, it feels more like I’m in “sales” than the rabbinate; I’m constantly trying to “sell” Judaism to others.