2005 Inauguration_Platform_at_sunrise courtesy Wikipedia Commons
Politics, Religion

#TorahForTheResistance: Inauguration Torah

#TorahForTheResistance is a campaign by young rabbinical and religious students about Jewish resistance to Trump through the lens of faith, Judaism, and spirituality. 

the day before
I led morning minyan today and opened with a statement about the line from Leviticus: ואהבת לרעך כמוך | that we must love each person as we love ourselves.  I offered that it was more necessary today than ever to recommit to recognizing the dignity of every person.
As we sang together, I fretted: Was what I said too partisan? Was it too early in the service to invoke the heavy dread and sense of grim premonition I was carrying?
Only afterwards did I allow myself to experience outrage: how dare dignity be a partisan issue? How dare this political unreality make it so I preemptively protect minyan goers from the indignity of recognizing that each of us deserves that our safety and essential dignity be recognized?
Today, I focus on Psalm 146, drawn by the line אל תבטחו בנדיבים — the exhortation that we not put our trust in princes (or presidents).  I read it and remember singing that exact line the day after the election.  I think about the 2.8 million meaningless votes and the impending executive orders and legislation that threaten to strip beloved neighbors and friends of rights and of safety.
As I read on in the psalm, I find a line, hiding:

השומר אמת לעולם | Guardian of truth, forever
And all that flows from it:
עושה משפט | Maker of justice
נותן לחם | Giver of food
מתיר אסורים | Releaser of the incarcerated
פוקח עורים | Opener of the blinded eyes
זוקף כפופים | Raiser of the bent over
אוהב צדיקים | Lover of the righteous

To seal the list comes a repeated invocation of protection: ה׳ שוםר | G-d guards; but this time it is the גר — the immigrant — that G-d is guarding.  G-d guards truth forever.  Even in this time that is being called post-truth.  And from truth flows justice, nourishment, liberation, discernment, love.  God guards the bordercrosser, even when people erect walls, bomb migrant encampments, enact deportations, nullify hard-won legal protection.

On this day after inauguration, as we look into the void, I offer this prayer —

ה׳ השומר | G-d, fierce Guardian
Guard truth —
hold it in Your safekeeping in these times when truth has no home on earth.
Please hold it for us.
Preserve it, grow it, make it strong
and return it to us when there is space, when we are ready.
ה׳ השומר | God, tender Guardian
Protect us, guard us, in truth and in love, in these days ahead.I love you and believe in the power and necessity of our resistance.
I promise to use every tool available to me to keep you safe and fight for the world we long to live in.May we rise tomorrow, ready.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.