After the Election: Finding Strength and Understanding

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Like many, I’m still digesting the results of Tuesday’s election. I’m certain of only one thing - most of us certainly did not predict the outcome. Uncertainty is an unavoidable part of life and we all have strategies for handling the inevitable unknowns that we face from day to day. We balance what we feel is in our control with the unexpected events that interrupt our lives and livelihoods.

When rationalizing the unpredictable, sometimes we foolishly blame ourselves. And other times, we destructively attack the character of others. With certainty, we should condemn the divisive rhetoric that has been used to advance a political agenda, an agenda, many believe, if studied dispassionately, has merits. But that conversation was lost in the hate speech. Whether or not our politics agree, these differences cannot divide our community. 

Despite our differences, our community always has found ways to work, play, eat, worship, mourn and celebrate together. We find solace in our traditions, the voices of worship that transcend generations. Our strength, in part, comes from recognizing we have survived unforeseen challenges throughout our history. Take this opportunity to remind our children of the importance of studying the past, the wisdom that comes with perspective, and the hope that remains vital despite what we imagine the future holds.

As I mentioned in my Letter from the CEO two weeks ago, the election is an opportunity, a wake-up call if you like, to acknowledge that differences exist among us. We need to restore bonds of trust and find ways to work together. I have been reminded that the Talmud teaches us we cannot isolate ourselves in ruminations over what might have been or should have been. We stay involved in the world and seek to repair it. Now, more than ever, what we have control over is our inner strength, our faith and our humanity. And we have each other.