Dear Kol Ami family and friends,
It is a new day in America and the people have exercised their civic duty. Whether we like or dislike the outcome of the election and the many races and propositions that were on the ballot, as Americans we still must be in awe of the great process and privilege that is voting in a democracy.
I know many in our Kol Ami community are passionate about politics. After all, Jews have long embraced democracy because it allowed us to thrive as a people like never before in history. But I also know many of you have expressed to me your deep fears and concerns after such a ugly, contentious election season. Many of you are scared and devastated.
It was an election that was filled with overt racism, misogyny, xenophobia, Islamophobia, Antisemitism and anti-LGBT sentiments. The President-Elect and his Vice President-Elect have fostered many of these in their election rhetoric. Let us pray that they understand governing is different than electioneering and that they now become the President and Vice President of all Americans and American residents.
President-Elect Trump has the opportunity to use his office to bring
Americans together, and to move us toward a brighter future. If he does so, we will be ready to work with him for the common good. If he does not, we stand ready to be fierce advocates for the values that guide us: inclusivity, justice, and compassion.
So for those of you that are in pain and turmoil after last night’s results, for those of you who are scared or questioning your faith in America, or questioning your faith at all – I invite you to join me tonight from 6:30 pm to 7:15 pm at our Temple, Congregation Kol Ami 1200 N. La Brea Avenue for 45 minutes of healing and hope with meditations for our future and our country.
Afterwards, we’ll adjourn to our rooftop deck for refreshments, conversation, listening to one another and supporting each other. For those who would like to stay, at 8 pm we’ll join Pastor Keith Cox and the Center for Spiritual Living for 30 minutes of uplifting music and communal prayer in our sanctuary.
This week we read Parshat Lech Lecha. Abraham’s call to leave his home and discover a new land and a new promise and a new relationship with God. The days and weeks ahead will be our time to explore this journey as a Kol Ami community and what we can do to make our values heard in the marketplace of ideas and to protect these values in our country.
For centuries Jews have prayed for the welfare of the country they lived in and its leaders. All the while knowing that we Jews have a Higher Power! As we pray in the Prayer for our Nation:
We ask God for guidance for ourselves and for our nation, to grant
our leaders the wisdom and forbearance to govern with justice and compassion. We ask God to help us appreciate one another and to respect the many ways that we may be faithful to the ways of righteousness, and to keep our country sound in body and spirit.
Rabbi Denise L. Eger