Tag Archives: Election Day

We will be Okay

Will we be okay?

What do I tell my kids?wethepeople

Those are two questions that have been asked since the nation elected Donald Trump as President of the United States last night.

The answer to the first question is: Yes. And we will tell our children the following: On November 8, our country elected Mr. Trump to be our next President. For many of us, he was not the person we wanted but our nation has spoken in a way that makes this country extraordinary. We voted and we decided. Our process worked. Despite our deep disagreements, we all have a President-elect.

Now it is time to find a way to move forward. We will pray our new President embraces the idea that he is the President of all people of the United States and that the United States has unique responsibilities because it holds a unique role in the world. Whether we agree with Mr. Trump’s personal or political views, we hope for his success as the leader of our nation. At the same time, we need to embrace our important place to fight for what we believe to be right especially given the circumstances that brought us to this place.

We have long relied on government intervention to address the issues and solve problems. However, for many in America, that did not work. They felt abandoned if not betrayed, with promises of protection broken and a system unresponsive to their needs. And for many others of us, we have been lulled into complacency and a false sense of security. This election is a harsh wake-up call and rouses us to action, not against the government, but aware of governments’ limitations to help the governed. It is up to us to create the change we seek now more than ever. Voting is only a first step in a process of engagement. Showing up at local meetings, petitioning Congressman, and holding the new president and every part of government accountable must ensue. Community organizing is vital. Our aspirations and goals are in our hands. We cannot relegate them to another’s care, certainly not now. Our community groups, both religious and civic, can use this moment in our history to reinvigorate and rededicate themselves, advancing important values of dignity, equality, and justice.

Yes, we will be all right.   The United States of America is strong and we her people are resilient.   But the future is in our hands. It is our work as Rabbis and other faith leaders to help guide and support the people as teachers, chaplains and champions of social justice and the values we hold dear. There is much to do and our work has never been more important.

Lincoln’s Great Words Stir us this Election Day

This past Sunday I was honored to address American Veterans, families, and friends at the dedication of a plaque commemorating them and their service and those who died in service of our country.  I was inspired by President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the fact that Election Day is November 8.

Lincoln and Gettysburg Address

Lincoln and Gettysburg Address

Dear Veterans, other Distinguished Guests and Friends. Today we gather to pay tribute to those members of our community who gave their lives in defense of our country. They fought and died on the battlefields of too many wars in defense of our nation and our way of life. We celebrate them and cherish their memories. It is right and proper that we honor their memories. But our words alone are insufficient.

I recall the words of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. How can we properly consecrate or hallow the memories of those who died so bravely on our behalf? Mere words today cannot do justice to the sacrifice made. Nothing we can say will add or detract from their actions. But, as President Lincoln shared, it is for us the living to dedicate ourselves to the great task that lay ahead of us; that we resolve these dead shall not have died in vain. For us, this great dedication is actually twofold.

First, we must exercise our sacred privilege two days from today on November 8th and cast our votes for the leaders that will take us forward: President, Senator, Congressman at the national level and the other men and women that will represent us as our elected officials at State and local levels.   It is essential for us the living to embrace this most fundamental grounding principle of our great nation and exercise the franchise for which so many have fought and died.   But our work is not yet done.

Second, The divisions that exist among our citizens must be healed and closed. To truly do honor to our fallen heroes, the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness must be accessible to all our citizens; the opportunities to reach that full measure of the American Dream, and institutions dedicated to this goal, shall make a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall remain the strong and enduring light of hope for everyone of us.