Things are getting weirder. I'm still upset about the ICE security person who drove into a group of Jewish demonstrators at the Rhode Island Wyatt Detention Center on Tisha B'Av. Now I'm upset by the antisemitic remark by Trump about Jewish "disloyalty" for voting Democratic. There is so much to be upset about. I just received in my email this morning an advertisement from a group called "Jews Choose Trump" advertising kippot and caps promoting Trump in 2020. "Order kippot in time for High Holidays." Sick. What are we to do?
I'm concerned about our safety as Jews in this country. We have a president who is stirring up hatred toward the Jewish people. We have republican and religious leaders who have buried their heads in the sand. Why is it that Jewish organizations have turned out in such great numbers while other religious and other culturally diverse groups have been so quiet. What is going on?
The High Holidays are coming in a few weeks. We have received a few messages of concern about "security" at Walter Johnson High School. First, we have always had security at WJ. This year, with a grant from the Jewish community via Homeland Security, we will have additional security. But the real defense against bigotry is education, better bridge building, necessary legislation and new leadership.
Parshat Ekev this week addresses the importance of doing Mitzvot and creating a more just and compassionate society. It describes in clear and disturbing language how we are called to eradicate injustice, corruption and idolatry in the land. Fundamentalists who take this plan literally often inflict physical violence on innocent men, women and children.
Yesterday, I had a heart to heart talk with two plumbers installing a new hot water heater in the main house at Sanctuary. They are from Pennsylvania, live in the country, own guns and are Trump supporters. They, too, are concerned about increased gun violence. They are also concerned by the violent action videos that their children play. They are fearful of societal changes in America and they admit that they have not had discussions about these concerns within their churches or others. I gained a new understanding of their concerns and they are mine as well. It's a beginning. One of the workers said during our conversation "The lord does teach 'love your neighbor as you would love yourself'." B'Shalom, Reb David