Lech L’cha /go to yourself in these difficult times
by Jhos Singer
Yesterday the United States of America voted in President Donald J. Trump. Most of the people I know are utterly despondent about this fact. Honestly, I’m not all that surprised. Miserable, yes, but not surprised.
So how do we get through it? Well, like any other kind of grief, really. Jewish wisdom teaches us that first we sitshiva. We weep, wail, and whimper full out. Then we begin to regroup. We start planning for our future. We accept what we can and cannot change. And most importantly, we simultaneously stop to notice how utterly beautiful this world is—that is, we don’t let our fear, sadness and frustration totally consume us.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov used to say:
Friends do not despair, for a difficult time has come upon us, joy must fill the air!
We must not lose our faith in living, we must not despair.
Though a difficult time is upon us, joy must fill the air!
And that joy comes from the beauty that inexplicably fills this world. The insanely brilliant art that happens in the heavens above us every day, the wonder of life sprouting up even in the cracks of a sidewalk, the hilarity of a baby human getting used to walking, mountains, pomegranates, smiles, kindness, and love. These are all gorgeous things that will stubbornly exist even when we are downhearted. So, take a moment, right now and find something beautiful near you. Let it help you remember that life is sweet, that we are so very lucky to be alive.
And then, with your soul nourished a bit, begin to consider how to Lech L’cha /go to yourself in these difficult times—whether that is organizing like hell, doing your part to protect the rights and bodies of folks who are vulnerable, being a healer, raising engaged citizens, or….?
At times like these, I am especially grateful to be a part ofbuilding a conscious community here at Chochmat HaLev — and I invite you to join with us on Shabbat morning as we daven with beautiful music, study some Torah, bless a new baby, and most importantly, reach out to each other to remind ourselves that we’re not alone. Let us join ourvoices together in song and prayer…and let’s make Rebbe Nachman proud of us, as we fill the air with Shabbes joy.