Dear TI Community,
The basis for democracy stems from the Torah’s belief that every person is created equally in God’s image, and is therefore entitled to equal representation in government and equal protection under the law. Each week we pray during our Shabbat worship to “uproot from our hearts hatred and malice, jealousy and strife. Plant love and companionship, peace and friendship, among the many people and faiths who dwell in our nation.” This prayer is more than an expression of faith. It is a call to action; and we have much work to do in the near future to heal the deep wounds and divisions which afflict the United States and society. We have had a tumultuous week in the life of our nation, these United States of America.
Early Thursday morning, Congress completed its duty to certify the election of Joe Biden as President-Elect, in spite of the attempt by a large group of Trump supporters, incited by the President, to overturn the will of the people.
The peaceful transfer of power has been the hallmark of American democracy for over 200 years, but Wednesday’s events in Washington, will leave a stain on the history of our nation. We are grateful to law enforcement for ejecting the rioters and re-establishing control of the Capitol, and pray for the continued safety and the security of our Congressional leaders.
The sight of a noose and Nazi symbols at the Capitol was sickening. Since the riot in Charlottesville in 2017, we have been concerned about both the danger posed by white supremacists and other extreme groups, and the weak response to those groups by some US political leaders. It is time for all political leaders to unequivocally denounce such beliefs and behaviors. Our people’s historical experience reminds us that every generation must respond to the challenge of bigotry and rise to the defense of freedom.
And yet we must be grateful for the resiliency of our institutions. In the end, the votes were counted, the election was certified and we will see the inauguration of the next President, in spite of those who sought to harm our country. For this we can say, “ Adonai Oz Leamo Yiten”. Adonai will give strength to God’s people and bless God’s people with peace. Amen
Raphael Kanter, Rabbi
Nathaniel Schudrich, Cantor
Gershon Levine, Executive Director
Martin Levin, President