I write to you the morning after the election. Trump will be our next president. It should not be surprising that I am deeply disappointed and troubled at this turn of events, and concerned for our country’s racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural minorities.
For me, this moment brings us three great challenges and three prayers, whatever your political leanings.
First, it is clear that our country is deeply divided and in need of healing. How can we be there for those in our communities that feel despair, fear, and anger right now? Whether you opposed Trump or supported him, I invite you to find a way to be there for someone that is hurting. Ask them how they are doing, what they are feeling, and what they need to get through this moment.
Harofeh lishburei lev, God who heals broken hearts, bring our country and all those who are hurting a refuah shlemah, a full healing of body and spirit.
Second, it is clear that people underestimated Trump and his followers, ridiculing their message and dismissing them as stupid and hateful. If we want to move forward, we must strive to understand those who disagreed with us. Can we find compassion to hear the pain and fear hiding behind the angry rhetoric?
Harachaman, God of compassion, strengthen our compassion, and have compassion upon us.
Third, we must explore where we go from here. How might we work for justice and kindness over the next four years? How might we unite less-affluent white people who voted for Trump with Black and Brown people (and others) who fear what Trump stands for? How might we work for a world where groups that are hurting share a sense of outrage and common cause against a system that fails so many of us, instead of blaming that failure on one another? How will we protect the most vulnerable in our communities?
Ohev Tzdakah Umishpat, God who loves righteousness and justice, help us to respond righteously to this moment.
In prayer and love,