Respond with Beauty

(I hope this goes without saying, but the views expressed here are my own and are not intended to speak for any organization with which I am affiliated.)

I’d like to live my life in a way that is not centered on the national political scene.

I especially don’t want the course of my day to be affected, continually, by the latest ludicrous thing this president has said. He sucks all the air out of the room; that seems to be his M.O. “Look at me! Gimme all the attention!” No, thanks, I’d rather not.

It’s primarily for that reason that I avoid writing about politics on Sivuv. There is a whole world out there worth our attention, worth talking about. And I also believe that the more we respond––though loud condemnation is often required, and words must be taken seriously––the more we feed the beast.

Today is one of the harder days, though. Especially as a rabbi, watching Jews punted around like a political football, I feel called to respond in a direct manner. But I’d like to leave that to others, and there are plenty of admirable voices doing so. (I’m particularly fond of and grateful for Zioness’s recent commentary.) What good is it for me to add yet another voice to the cacophony?

Instead, today I painted a picture:

I think I’ll call it “Dual Loyalties.” Ha…just kidding. 🤦‍♂️

Here’s what I’d like to suggest: If we must rebut and condemn a harmful statement (or policy, or, God forbid, yet another act of violence), we should also put something beautiful into the world.

What would happen if each inflammatory statement were met with crickets––or, better yet, a harmonious choir singing praises for something beautiful? Let’s exercise our collective power to reclaim the public sphere. If we want a world of solidarity and love, then we have to fill the world with solidarity and love.

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