Friday, January 22, 2021

A Moment in Time: Response to Washington. Our Rights – and Responsibilities as Decent Human Beings

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Rabbi Zach Shapiro
A change in perspective can shift the focus of our day - and even our lives. We have an opportunity to harness "a moment in time," allowing our souls to be both grounded and lifted. This blog shows how the simplest of daily experiences can become the most meaningful of life's blessings. All it takes is a moment in time. Rabbi Zach Shapiro is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Akiba, a Reform Jewish Congregation in Culver City, CA. He earned his B.A. in Spanish from Colby College in 1992, and his M.A.H.L. from HUC-JIR in 1996. He was ordained from HUC-JIR - Cincinnati, in 1997.

Dear all,

Each year (save this year because of COVID), the students of Temple Akiba travel to Washington D.C. to lobby before our elected officials on behalf of Reform Judaism. With such pride, we pose in front of the Capitol building to have our photo taken.

This majestic image is so starkly different from the grim travesty that occurred at the Capitol on January 6. There are so many feelings, it’s often difficult to express them without going into an emotional tailspin.

Our nation has endured so much recently. So much. People have been given liberty to act on their impulses without using common decency. It will take incredible wherewithal to build trust, to regain vision, and to write the next chapter of our country. We must look within to begin the process.

For my moment in time today, I therefore off the following:

I once thought it was my right to speak up.

I now understand it is also my responsibility to first listen.

I once thought it was my right to protest.

I now understand it is also my responsibility to take a breath.

I once thought it was my right to share my thoughts freely.

I now understand it is also my responsibility to use a filter.

I once thought it was my right to do whatever it takes to protect my freedom.

I now understand it is also my responsibility to do whatever it takes to create shalom.


Rabbi Zach Shapiro

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