Showing posts from November, 2016

Four Jewish texts in response to the Election of 2016

I write these words as an individual, who serves a Jewish community that is diverse in many ways, including national origin, race, sexual orientation, and political perspective, among other points of diversity.  I don’t have the illusion that everyone in our community will agree with what I am writing below, but it is my hope that you can find at least one thing with which to agree.   My tendency at times of joy and at times of difficulty is to look to traditional Jewish writings for wisdom and solace. Here are 4 traditional Jewish texts that are helping me through this day. Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers, 2nd c. CE), 4:10:   ואל תאמר קבלו דעתי, שהן רשאין ולא אתה   “[Rabbi Ishmael taught:]  Don’t say to someone else, “You must come around to my opinion!”  That’s up to them, not to you.” Western democracy may be young, but the idea of majority vote and (in some circumstances) majority rule has been a hallmark of Jewish tradition for thousands of years. The book o