As I sit here writing to you, the scent of jasmine is wafting into my office window – and it sits here right here alongside my broken heart.
How in the world do we deal with nineteen children’s lives being cut down in a senseless act of violence? With ten innocent Black Americans gunned down while shopping for food?
How is it possible that those of us in the United States tolerate the proliferation of guns while at the same time professing to be “pro-life”?
I believe in prayer, however, prayer alone is not enough. As my colleague Rabbi Mark Asher Goodman wrote on Twitter: “In Judaism, if you say a prayer over something, then fail to do the requisite action that follows, like blessing bread and not eating it, it’s a bracha levatla (a wasted blessing) – which is a sinful act. If you pray for victims of gun violence but do nothing, it is a sinful act.”
My own life experience has taught me that by working together, we can change the world.
We moved the needle on nuclear weapons back in the 80s. We stood up in large numbers when congress was going to take away the Affordable Care Act. We campaigned and won the Freedom to Marry movement. The Black Lives Matter movement and #MeToo have changed our country forever. WE CAN DO THIS.
Please believe it is possible to change what is to a world that could be.
I do not have many answers but I’ll offer a few ideas:
1) Call your loved ones. Especially teachers. Even if just to say – I’m thinking of you today.
2) Take some action. Donate to Mom’s Demand Action or Everytown for Gun Safety or the Brady Center. Plan to organize in your own community to elect people who will finally pass common-sense gun legislation and outlaw these weapons of war.
3) Weep, pound pillows, call friends to rant. Your feelings of weariness and anger are real. Take a nap or a break from social media if that is helpful for your soul. And then ground yourself with your feet in the soil or sand. B.R.E.A.T.H.E
4) Find a little bit of good. Pay attention to all that is good in your life. Say blessings for each tree you see and each kindness you experience. GO ON A WALK. Play with your pet or children. Remember – this, too. For ideas & blessings, see my workbook Grateful and if you are feeling weary and tapped out, check out Renew.
Part of mature spirituality is being able to hold our broken hearts alongside our gratitude for all that is not broken.
Dear friends — please take care of your own souls so that you can be revived in order to take action – together we can.
Blessings to you now and always,
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