Torah: Lekh L’kha

Lekh L’kha marks a new beginning of an uncharted future. Abram hears a call to go forth to the land that God would show him. At the same time, Canaan is the once sought destination of Abram’s father (Genesis 11:31). Rabbi Wolfe Kelman commented, “There is no greater influence on a child than the unfilled dreams of a parent” and pointed to this sequence of events. What is true is that our motivations are deeply imbedded and often hidden even from our own view, a source of humility. And yet, it is our responsibility to act with open eyes as to the future.

In a conversation with twenty-one of our CBI teenagers this week, they shared that in their public schools fist fights broke out the day after the elections. We are a divided nation and a civil society governed by law. Distinctly, to become an American citizen is to take a test on both the history of our nation and the Constitution. Although any legal document is subject to divergent interpretation, there are shared values of freedom of religion, speech, association, and a system of checks and balances.

Now, is the time for us to listen to each other- both Trump and Clinton supporters- and with humility hear each other’s fears and hopes. We must remain open to a core of goodness in each other and to seek shared purpose. We, who as a people have experienced hateful labels and whose Torah teaches to care for the vulnerable, need to support those organizations, such as the ADL, which seek to protect genuine equality and fairness for all. For those whose candidate lost, this is still a period of mourning. For those whose candidate won, there is elation. May we move forward together as fellow, respectful travelers so that our nation will remain stable and flourish.

Mourning the passing of troubadour, Leonard Cohen: Listen to his resonant voice describe how he composed: