Instead of turning out to sea, it turned on us. The first day, lighting candles and eating all the ice cream out of the freezer was fun. The second day, less so. Unfortunately, some of our temple families are still today without power, living in the homes of friends and relatives who have taken them in from the cold. We pray that it won’t be much longer.
Here in Westchester we’ve suffered. It’s crippling to be without your normal routine. It’s frustrating for your house to feel like a foreign ice-box and not the home-base it is supposed to be. We’ve got totaled cars and damage to our homes. It has not been easy.
Here at Woodlands, we’re responding as quickly as we can. Soon we’ll be taking up a collection for those most affected by the destruction. We’re also putting together a taskforce to figure out when, how, and where we can get boots on the ground to help with the clearing and rebuilding. If you are interested in helping in this, let me or Rabbi Billy know right away.
So here we are months after the High Holy Days with another opportunity for turning and rebuilding.
Certainly we can find it in ourselves to take part in this turning. After all, the spirit of rebuilding and turning ourselves around is in the air.
Our country must make a turn towards rebuilding a better society together.
“Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It's not always a straight line. It's not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won't end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin.”
It’s where we begin with rebuilding after the storm, it’s where we begin to rebuild after a highly divisive election year. We move forward.
There’s a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon that sums it up best.
Mild-mannered Calvin is stuck doing homework on a beautiful Sunday. When no one is watching, he dashes off to become Stupendous Man, defender of freedom! Stupendous Man heads towards the earth at an acute angle, using stupendous force to begin turning the earth in the other direction. Stupendous Man turns the planet all the way around backward. Afterwards, Calvin’s mom asks if he finished his schoolwork. Calvin marches along in his Stupendous Man costume, saying it's Saturday. He doesn't need to do it until tomorrow, thanks to Stupendous Man.
Folks, we’ve got homework to do. We have challenges ahead of us in the wake of this storm, in the wake of the election. Our challenge is not to turn backwards, but to turn forwards. We need to take on the challenges, take on tomorrow. May we do so speedily and productively. Kein Yhi Ratzon.
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