Prayer For Politicians

Z 1
 
Dear Friends,
 
I traveled to Israel this week to attend the B’nai Mitzvah ceremonies of three New Shul families. They were magnificent experiences, surrounded by the old stones, the minarets, the Jerusalem sky and its faces beneath, the mythic stories of the ancestors breathing the air with us. I carried some sadness too. There are many veils in that place that disguise what really goes on, and those who are fresh to the language and culture, barely notice anything amiss. To really honor the Jewish lineage that we carry, all of our actions, in family, politics, and governance must be rooted in the high ideals the tradition expounds.
 
I wrote God a letter, and left it at her doorstep.
 
“Dear God,
 
When you were inclined to create human beings you must have wrestled with the question – How autonomous shall I make them? How much choice should I give them? You could have made them exceedingly wise overflowing in goodness, though they would have been as angels then. You chose alternatively. You chose to give them choice and the vehicle of contemplation, that they might envision the path of good and the path of evil, the path of love and the path of separation, and walk as they please, undeterred by heavenly reward or punishment in this life, so far as I know.
 
Your creatures try your good judgement. There is a certain class that has arisen through history and corruption to achieve unprecedented power. One among them, Trump, threatens the destruction of civilization.
 
I write to you now, with all of the humility I can muster, to remind you of the conditions of the creation of human kind. We are created on the condition, that before making a choice, we will contemplate the two paths before us. I fear, the politicians have relinquished the contemplation of the possibility of peace and equality. They are refusing their obligation to dream of goodness beyond nationalism, race and class. They wink and drag us forward unflinching in the certainty of their vision.
 
Don’t strip them of their capacity to choose and dream, and don’t fix this for us by otherworldly means. Simply return to them the blessed curse you gave in the beginning.
 
Blessed is the one who bestows the capacity to dream after peace, goodness, and other lofty entities.
 
Zach”
 
Mazel Tov to our students and their families!
 
Shabbat Shalom and Happy New Year,
 
Rabbi Zach Fredman

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