To Keep the Faith and Spread It

“We pray for healing of our people. We pray for healing of the land.
And peace for every race and nation, every child, every woman, every man.”

On Sabbath Eve we sing these words, an adaptation by Cantor Leon Sher of our traditional Mi Sheberach.  They reflect our prayers for our country now:  for physical healing for the millions suffering from Coronavirus and comfort for the families of those who have died from it; and for spiritual healing for our politically divided nation.  We look today to  President Trump, as we will soon to President-elect Biden, to guide us toward that healing.

Let a source of our hope — an historic step in, we pray, the country’s journey toward equality — be the election of Kamala Harris, the first woman and first woman of color, as Vice President of the United States. Let her victory inspire us in our ongoing fight for gender and racial justice.  Let it raise the sights of millions of young children toward new possibilities for their own futures.

President-elect Biden urged us at the conclusion of his remarks last night not just to keep our faith in the promise of America, but to spread it. Rabbi Israel Salanter taught us how to begin.  Before we can make peace in our country, he explained, we must first make peace in our communities, with those closest to us.  Only when we learn to hear in the voices of those with whom we disagree concerns we may not have recognized or understood can we start to heal the chasms that divide us, and, in turn, unite our country.

The election is over. The hard work begins.

Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson