Jews are everywhere in this world, and we are all one family, I want to sing along with them as they get ready for Shabbat. It is more than a religion, it is a common heritage, we are all brothers and sisters, and we follow our own traditions, celebrate our own culture, and that is how we are clearly not just American, British, French, Syrian, Iraqui, Persian, Russian, and so on. Maybe we need to put a hyphen of Jewish in front of them all, maybe then the world will recognize the nation of Israel.
I love to keep learning more about the customs and history of my ancestors, here is an insight into the Nine Days, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nine_Days.
During these days different communities of Jews observe their mourning in different ways. Ashkenazi Jews don’t eat meat, drink wine, buy new things, do laundry or wear fresh clothes, swim, or enjoy music.
But more than the outer experience of mourning, we’re asked to observe the inner experience. To meditate on what we lost – spiritual clarity and connection – and why we lost it – because of baseless hatred, disunity, and divisiveness.
I commit to making these nine days count. To accepting others for what they are and finding the good in everyone. For praying for a better world of clarity, love and peace. For listening to my highest self instead of my lowest self.
Who’s joining me?
I love the how the journey to self improvement, being of service, and being an example in this world is the Jewish path in this world,
Shine your light brothers and sisters,
One of the things we’re meant to do during this time is to be more patient with others, more forgiving, and more careful with our words.
It seems that it’s easier than ever not to do such things. To see the wrong in the world, to mourn in anger rather than vulnerability. To fight instead of weep. To argue instead of embrace.
One thing I’ve seen as I’ve written about divisive issues these days is how quickly people who care about the same things can come to truly despise each other. I wrote about Israel, and my love for it, and saw others who love it call me and others horrible names. I wrote about the election, and others who care deeply about the US often saw this discussion as a personal attack. In my own community, a controversy about an “eruv” erupted beyond control, all by people that care about the same community.
I confess that I’ve felt the same anger, the same moments of feeling like others are my enemies. Wanting to call people names, erupt, destroy.
As time passed, however, I knew I couldn’t continue to hold that anger. It is unhealthy. It is also destructive, both to us and those around us.
But how to address it? How to live in a world that I feel so many injustices are being committed? How to live in a community that I feel outcast from?
The answer is only in one place: the commonality. The unifying aspects. That the ones we debate so vociferously are usually the ones who care just as much as us about an issue. That’s why it’s so much more heated when we argue with people similar to us. It hurts more because we have more in common.
The Tanya, a Chabad text, teaches that love is knowing you share the same spiritual root, a Godly soul, as another. So the wrongs they or you commit are external, just mud on a diamond.
So whether we are distant in what we care about or close, the truth is that we really still do care about what’s right. We express it differently, believe in different ideas, care about different causes. But we both want what’s right and good to prevail. Because we both have Godly souls.
May we continue to dig deep until we see our own souls and the souls of those around us. Especially those of whom we disagree with. Nothing has divided the world more than letting go of this truth. And nothing can bring it together more powerfully and purely.