Our world is imperfect. As Jews, we know this.
The Torah teaches that God created a world capable of chaos and of order. While this can sometimes create moments of despair, it is also the basis for all hope, all light in the darkness.
The violence and hatred witnessed over the weekend in Charlottesville, VA weighs heavily on our minds and in our hearts. As Americans, many of us awoke today feeling ashamed, scared and outraged. It is okay to feel these things. The fight for justice cannot come only from the head; it must come also from the heart.
It is in these moments of darkness that Jewish tradition compels us to be brave, to seek the light. We are, as we read in Zechariah 9:12, asirei hatikvah, prisoners of hope.
As I write this, the Reform Movement is working across lines of difference to coordinate an interfaith response to the violence in Charlottesville that calls for constructive solutions to the hatred and vitriol dividing our nation. The clergy and lay leadership of our Urgency of Now campaigns are organizing across North America to expand our network of Reform congregations working together for social justice. The RAC is preparing for the 1,000 Ministers March for Justice, happening in Washington, DC on August 28, where we will march alongside diverse clergy from across the nation to demand that the Department of Justice live up to its name.
In recent months, we have seen our work on health care and criminal justice reform have a real, tangible impact at the federal level and in states including California, New York and Ohio. We are constantly identifying and training passionate new leaders to help us more effectively and efficiently build the world we want—one driven by wholeness, justice and compassion. If you are interested in joining these efforts, I encourage you to get in touch.
Our world is imperfect, and so we respond with hope. Our world is full of darkness, and so we respond with light.