Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I woke up to find an email from Temple Sinai saying that someone had defaced the synagogue's exterior walls with anti-semantic slurs. The email went on to say that the graffiti has been covered up with paper and urged all of us to write loving thoughts on the paper as we came to services today. At the start of services, our rabbi asked all of us to turn to our neighbors and give them a big hug.
I cried when I read the email. I cried as we drove to Temple and I cried as services began. I cried for my parents, especially my Mom, who survived the Holocaust. My Mom still cries everyday remembering the persecution she and her family and friends suffered because they were Jews. I cried thinking of all the DACA people who are scared today of perhaps being deported. I also cried for the people who defaced our beautiful synagogue. What was it about their lives that made them hate? Why did they want to hurt other people? What do they need that they aren't receiving?
Like most people I know, I am horrified and detest the rhetoric and tweets coming from our President. He has, however, opened our eyes and helped us see how unhappy and hateful so many Americans are. The question now is, what can and will we do about it?
As I was reading the prayers today, I was thinking that we are not adequately preparing ourselves for the next stage of evolution. Technology is dramatically changing the world. Climate change is happening. The gig economy and globalization is changing the way we work and live. Our laws, politics, morality and spiritually are not evolving as quickly as the world needs them to evolve. We seem so fearful of the future that we are desperately hanging on to the past.
My greatest hope for the new year is that instead of fearing the future and blaming each other for how we got here, we get excited about creating tomorrow. Instead of fretting about how terrible fossil fuel has harmed the environment, lets be excited about solar and get better prepared for global warming. Instead of trying to lower healthcare cost by denying healthcare to people who need it, let's get excited about finding new cures, drugs and protocols faster. Let's consider single payer for long term medical expenses and separating these expenses from healthcare. Instead of trying to reinstate yesterday's jobs by tweaking yesterday's laws, let's prepare ourselves for the era when machines and artificial intelligence will do most jobs better than people can. Let's create tomorrow in such a way as to ensure that everybody has what they need to be safe, cared for and needed. This is how hate will be eradicated.
I started the day crying. I'm ending the day hopeful again.
Go! Go! Go!