"...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...."
"...The depth of a person’s ethical foundation can be measured, not by the degree to which a person loves, but by the degree to which one extends the notion of neighbor. As we watched the states and counties fill in red and blue, red and blue, it was clear how human beings red or blue, live beside neighbors who share their values. In this America, we aren’t being invited to extend the notion of love thy neighbor very far.
Today is a remarkable day.
Nov. 9, 2016 marks the 77th anniversary of Kristallnacht—the night of shattered glass, in which Germany crossed a threshold and unleashed the power of hatred that would eventually lead to the horrors of the Holocaust. It is a day we must remember and learn from. Within hatred and anger lie the seeds of utter destruction. This is the Amalek we must never forget.
"... the sooner we can accept reality as it is, the sooner we can work to improve it. Acceptance and change, in fact, go hand in hand. And while my emotions are still raw and I’m having trouble adjusting to the shock of Tuesday, once I accept reality, I can begin to work on the world as it is, rather than the world that I wanted.
"Will we be okay?
What do I tell my kids?
Those are two questions that have been asked since the nation elected Donald Trump as President of the United States last night.
"... Let's let celebrators celebrate. Let's let mourners mourn. And — please God — let's all be healers who heal. For a few days, let's let be what already is, and work to find calm amidst turmoil, inner peace in the face of outer despair, and — most importantly — comfort where comfort is to be found. Have an extra cookie, hug a loved one for a moment longer, linger with a friend for as long as the unrelenting passage of time allows.
Irwin Kula is featured at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center in Denver on November 11 speaking about Disruptive Spiritual Innovation. "Technological innovation and sociological transformations are dramatically altering the ways we form our identities, establish communities, and acquire the resources to fashion meaningful, purposeful, and spiritual lives. Every domain is being disrupted – newspapers and music, retail and government, taxis and hotels, health and education. How are the products, services, and delivery systems of religion in general and Judaism in particular being disrupted?