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Celebrating all that Unifies Us

11/08/2018 08:47:16 AM


Rabbi Ron Segal

“Are you a Republican, Democrat, or Independent?” “Who did you vote for on Tuesday?”

In the wake of this week’s highly contentious midterm elections and in anticipation of a political rift that is likely to grow wider, merely writing such questions feels polarizing.  Thus, for the spiritual refuge and sanctuary it provides, Shabbat cannot get here quickly enough.  However, this week’s Shabbat evening service comes at a particularly opportune time, as we will also honor the Temple Sinai men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  I cannot help but wonder how our Veterans must feel about the present reality in our country.  When they made the courageous decision to enlist, understanding the potential perils they might face or even that they could be putting their lives on the line, none were evaluated based upon their political party affiliation.  In whichever branch and in whatever capacity Veterans served our country, I am confident they did so proudly, arm in arm, alongside individuals whose political views differed from their own, and that those differences never interfered with the greater purpose – the safety and security of our nation. 

As we recognize and honor all of the Veterans in our congregational family this Shabbat evening, it is also an opportunity to celebrate the value of unity which characterized their service.  As we join together in prayer, sitting and standing alongside those whose political views may very well differ from our own, perhaps we might draw a measure of inspiration from the example of our Veterans and, at least in the context of our community, strive to lift up and celebrate a message of unity as well.   Please join us as we enjoy the peace of Shabbat, honor the commitment of our Veterans, and recognize all of our Sinai members who celebrated a significant life cycle moment over the past 50 years of our congregation’s history.  May all that unifies us a congregational family help to make this Shabbat a most memorable one.

Tue, February 18 2020 23 Sh'vat 5780