"Today is a good day to find a #commongoal." I tweeted this today in response to the 16th anniversary of 9/11. As far as a common goal is concerned, I continued my tweet: "How about #UnitedWeStand? Way better than #DividedWeFall. Our choice."
As I remember 9/11, I recall with great inspiration the power of community that carried our nation through the darkest of times. The collective force of goodness shined a powerful, piercing and healing light through the blackness and gave us the audacity to hope. We stood as a nation, united.
But 16 years of terror, war, violence, racial hatred, xenophobia, distrust, and privilege have frayed the fabric that bound us together then. As a nation, we can barely look at one another in the collective eye. We spend time in our favorite echo chambers and struggle to disagree with dignity, when people don't see things our way. Or nation feels so divided today; and that should not be the legacy of 9/11 because if we are too divided, we will fall.
We owe it to the ordinary citizens and the first-responders who died because of 9/11. Their courage, their heroism, their sacrifice--none of those should have been made or expressed in vain. But if we tear each other apart because we refuse to act in mentsch-like way, then we will fail our mission of unity; and we must not fail.
Just a couple random notes before I close.
Firstly, I want to thank Tani Prell, the Faculty, the Religious School Committee, our Trustees, the student and their families for ensuring a great first day of class. And, I am especially appreciative of the generosity, hospitality and service of our Women and Men of Reform Judaism.
Second, Mazal tov to Rika Greiff on her completion the Chicago Triathlon and her contributions to Scamper for Campers. As I wrote last month, I will rise to Rika's challenge and will run in the Edgewater 5k on October 1. I urge you to become a part of the challenge, too! Support my efforts through your own participation with me in this or in another race, contribute a donation to honor our participation, or encouraging me and others on! There will be the opportunity to be a part of the cheering section on October 1, as the race runs down Sheridan Road, right in front of our synagogue. Your financial support increases access for our children who wish to attend Jewish summer camp. I look forward to seeing you on the route, and to thanking you for your support!
That's all for now. I am going back to preparing for the High Holy Days. May the memories of those who perished in 9/11 be for a blessing. #Remember 9/11. #NeverForget.
Make it a day of blessing and be a force for good!