Rev. Welton Gaddy speaks with Rabbi Brad Hirschfield in an effort to seek healing and words of hope. Well before the voting started in this year's election, it was already very clear to us that the divisiveness and distrust in the campaign would need to be addressed in the election’s aftermath. State of Belief radio is hosting a series of conversations around the themes of healing and reconciliation this week.
"Leaders cannot lead alone. Without a community around them, they would have no one to lead, and no one to turn to for advice. The best leaders seek out places where they can be both challenged and nurtured in order to reach their highest potential. The Rabbis Without Borders Network is a case study that demonstrates how a rich, diverse, challenging, and safe place enables leaders to think, explore, and imagine together, and therefore become more confident, transformative, and relatable leaders...."
"Last week's election prompted strong reaction and reflection from the Jewish community. With a majority of Jews supporting the Democratic candidate, and the troubling echos of anti-Semitism and xenophobia which permeated the campaign, the victory of Donald Trump has brought Jewish organizations to issue statements, hold gatherings and assess what the next four years will mean...."
"Author, journalist and social commentator, Beth Kissileff, has a new book out this week, Questioning Return: A Novel. Among the things I liked most about it was how easy she made it to read, while inviting us to think about some really deep issues regarding faith, identity, sexuality, and how we try to create the lives we most want to lead. Today we get to beyond the page and talk with the author about those very questions...."
"No, that's not a joke – at least not entirely – but it is a funny way (remember those TV ads for that panic button service?) to blow off steam as I process a pretty scary thing that happened last week, and the beginning of my moving past trauma care, to trying to learn something from the event...."
"...Within minutes, I became a caregiver to a person with whom I share close quarters even though we have not been particularly close. At times, she and I have either been painfully estranged and not communicating for long periods or trapped in a cycle of mutual misunderstanding, disappointment and heartbreak, unable to find a peaceful detente let alone rapport for more than short periods.
"...Yes: the great teachings of my tradition often offer me comfort – and there are sorrows those teachings cannot touch. It is childish to imagine that if only I could find the right teaching, the right text, I could erase grief — my own, or that of someone I love. Better to let the texts do as November describes: to let them open up for me the sacred text of my own life and wait for me to answer their question with my choices, with my living...."
"...I dare you, today. Live without the fear. Live without the pain. Let it go – the only person it's hurting is yourself. If you can't let it go, hang out with it, watch it, let it in and say, ‘Hello pain, nice to see you today. I love you too.’ And watch it dissipate as it sees it can't keep you down, as it sees that it won't get a fight out of you today, because you're going to soldier on anyway, no matter what...."
"When I studied for my PhD in Jewish studies, I often had occasion to engage with antisemitism as a historical subject and intellectual exercise. However, since the election of Donald Trump, antisemitism has become a contemporary concern with practical implications and a frequent topic of conversation...."
"Leadership is on my mind this week. We elected a new president of the United States, a leader with a tremendous amount of power. At the same time, lots of other people seem to have been reminded that we too have some level of power and responsibility in making the world a better place, in being leaders...."