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Five things I have learned since November 8th

1) Disappointment hits hard. I am sad that my son and daughter will have a different future than the one I envisioned. I had wanted them to have a childhood in which a woman was a president. I didn’t get what I wanted. I explained this to a conservative student of mine like this: I feel like I had seen the package under the tree, with my name on it, and that it was the thing that I wanted. I am heartsick that Santa would let me down.


2) The best way to console someone who is bereft is to sit with them in silence. This is not comfortable for many people, but it is the best way to console. Look at them, hold them in your eyes. Do not ask them to breathe deeply or tell them that things will be alright — those are ways of asking them to take care of you. Sitting, witnessing the pain of others is a holy act.


3) You don’t get to choose the crisis that will transform your life. You don’t. Sorry.


4) You are a lighthouse. Live your morals. Live your kindness. Live your faith. Live your hope. Be a bright light for all to see.

5) “The core experiences of psychological trauma are disempowerment and disconnection from others.” – Judith Herman. Be supportive. Be loving. Be there for others.

1) If you are sad, mourn.
2) If you find someone sad, let them mourn.
3) If you don’t know exactly what next to do, be patient.
4) Even if you don’t believe you are up for what it is you are being called to do, you are wrong. You are being called to do the work ahead of you because you can do it.

5) Be loving in words, in actions, in thoughts. Be loving. Be loving. And, when in doubt, be loving.

With love,

Rabbi Brian

Visit Rabbi Brian’s website: Religion Outside the Box

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