Rise and Act for Goodness Again and Again

Dear Friends,

This is a difficult week in our nation’s history. For many of us it was a week of bitter and painful defeat. I found myself tumbling into deep despair and have had a hard time finding solid ground upon which to stand.

It happens that I spoke about this a few weeks ago on Yom Kippur, asking the question: How do we keep on rising and acting for good in the face of defeat, in the face of seeing what we most love and value trampled, desecrated?

Gleaning teachings from two of my teachers, Joanna Macy and Terry Tempest Williams, I presented five practices that call forth conscious awareness and action.

They include:

1. Gratitude

2. Allowing our feelings of sadness and loss

3. Reaching out to each other, creating community

4. Honoring our gifts

5. And, in Joanna Macy’s words, “Acting our age. We are 13.8 billion years old and our actions for the well being of the planet carry the strength and dignity of all creation.”

You can read the entire talk here.

One thing I would like to emphasize right now is the importance of reaching out to each other. Many people feel shaken, vulnerable and afraid. This is a time to affirm our connections, to care for our relationships and see what we can do to help each other. The fabric of our system is in tatters and we need to do whatever we can to mend and sustain our web of connections. Before Shabbat begins, let’s reach out to folks, let them know we are thinking about them and are hoping they are OK. As the days carry us, let us do our best to act with kindness, dignity and generosity. And as the midterm elections are in view, let’s encourage each other to be active and aware participants.

It would be easy to stay knocked down by despair, but we need each other to keep rising. Let us feel the strength of our ancestors and the prayers of our children’s children’s children. Let us feel the power of the trees, mountains, birds, rivers and oceans. And let’s take each other’s hands and share our courage, strength and love as we rise and act for goodness again and again and again.

Much love to all,

Rabbi Yael

Daily IntentionsAway In