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One week later / a 9-year-old’s question to G!d…

From Nigel Savage

Thank you for the kind and thoughtful comments that many of you sent in response to last week’s email.

This is a marathon, not a sprint, and I fear the intensity of what is going on at the moment. I feel it myself – the lurid pull of the news, that sense of OMG, now what’s just happened? – and yet I want desperately to find solid ground; for myself, for the Jewish community, for America.

I agree strongly that faith communities, non-profits, ethnic groups, and the whole rainbow panoply of civic society will need to pull together in the coming months and years – to defend the EPA; to do all we can to stop the USA from regressing on climate change initiatives; to guard against the targeting of Muslim communities; and to stand clear and firm against anti-semitism. With due humility, Hazon will try to make as great a difference as we can on some of these issues, going forwards.

Above and beyond these things, though, I’m concerned about issues of balance. Normally the intensity of the election campaign, already far too long in the US, gives way to a different energy after the election – even if one’s own side lost. As we all know, this year is far from usual, in all respects.

So… for now, and this week, we simply wanted to share a range of upcoming conferences and events.

I especially want to invite you to our Jewish Intentional Communities Conference. We see a doctor if we have an acute problem, but we all know that fostering wellness is preferable to fighting illness. The longer-term work of revitalizing Jewish life and helping to make a better world for all sooner or later comes down to questions of community. This gathering will be an arena for rich and vital conversations.

Similarly, our Meditation Retreat, Food Conference, and our Rabbis’ Retreat. Each is a beloved gathering, each has been deeply impactful in prior years; and each, in different ways, takes on greater importance as we head into an unknown new world.

Finally – in a different vein – the Israel Ride ended on Monday in Eilat. It was our largest ever. Our smoothest ever. A beacon of inspiration in a complicated world. Huge thanks to our participants, our crew, our staff, and the several thousand people who sponsored our riders.

PS: In a lighter vein, Hazon’s former CFO, Lisa Sacks, is now in rabbinical school. She gave a wonderful sermon last week in York, PA, and it included this marvelous little story:

The greatest joy in my life is to be a mom to two girls, one 11-year-old and one 9-year-old. We watched some of the returns together on Tuesday night and they both saw my anxiety increase as polls closed across the country. Wednesday morning when they woke up I told them what had happened. A few minutes later 9-year-old Lucy came to talk to me.

She said, “Mom, are you OK?”
And I said, “Yeah, sweetie. It will be ok. We live in a country with a lot of diversity and different viewpoints and we are so lucky to live in such a place even if the candidate who shares our values didn’t win.”
Lucy responded, “Well I’m upset so I talked to G!d about it.”
“Oh” I said, “what did you talk about?”
She said, “I told G!d I was really upset.”
“And what did G!d say back to you?”
Lucy answered: “G!d said He’s getting a lot of complaints.”