February 27, 2020

The Power of Reconciliation; Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

This weekend is Martin Luther King weekend. It is also the weekend of our Gala, our biggest fundraiser of the year for Beit T’Shuvah. Dr. King believed that Evil could be overcome. We believe that Evil can be defeated. It is so hard, though. As we have seen within our country, Evil is pervasive and takes on many disguises. We see it in the way people treat others who are “different,” we see it in the way we cover up for those we “love” or “need.” We see it in the way we treat our elderly who are neither indigent nor wealthy. We see it in the way we hide our “dirty laundry” from the world, hoping we won’t get caught.

Why? This is my question. We know that hiding doesn’t work, we see this with the way the internet has changed the speed and volume of information we receive. We know that treating people poorly is found out eventually, as Jefferson, Mo. and New York, NY has proven recently. We see everyday the terrible restrictions and conditions that our elderly experience in how many “nursing homes” are actually slum homes. People are exposed daily and their “dirty laundry” is hung out to dry often (even though they keep denying it). We see corporations pay fines and not admit guilt. This is all a hoax on everyone including the perpetrators. Yet, we continue to do this and allow others to hide and secretly feel satisfaction when someone else gets exposed!

Why? Because we are afraid of being human. We are afraid of being transparent. We are afraid of Truth. We are afraid of answering God’s question: “What is life getting out of you?” This is why T’Shuvah is so important in the Jewish Faith. T’Shuvah teaches that we can repair our mistakes and change our behaviors and thinking. T’Shuvah says we are not “bad” because of our errors; rather we are great because of our ability to be in Truth and seek solutions. T’Shuvah demands reconciliation and renewal and redemption.

The ills of our world can only be cured through our desire to redeem ourselves and others. Will you join me in being Addicted to Redemption so that we can uncover the beauty of Truth, the strength of forgiveness and the power of reconciliation? Please lets do this in honor of Dr. King, in honor of all of the soldiers who died and the others who fought and survived for us to be Free, in memory of all the past anti-semitic, racist, immigrant hating that has stained our society. Only when we work together can we change the world!