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A Broken Pane

01/21/2021 09:00:31 AM


There’s a window pane in one of the doors entering the Capitol Rotunda that remains broken  from the insurrection on January 6th.  Well, not exactly broken perhaps, but riddled with spider cracks fissuring through the pane.  So much pain.  There’s been so much pain and suffering, and I know it didn’t start 4 years ago.  And I pray that we all come to understand that the hateful rhetoric that has become far too common a currency in politics, over our airwaves, floating invisibly right before our eyes in the guise of amazingly complicated and completely unique sets of 1’s and 0’s, IS the problem. 

Our better angels are being harkened to, but they do not suffer lies.  Manipulations of fact, battles seeking to upend consistency, the championing of hypocrisy “because the other side does it even worse,” as we say in Hebrew, nim’as li kvar!  I am fed up! 

Maybe this can be the inflection point.  Maybe this can be the opportunity to forge a way through the middle ground drawing together the most amenable leaders who “sit” 20% right of center and 20% left, edging out those whose positions aren’t radically different from their more centered allies but who differ drastically because of tone and approach.  Maybe as Leonard Cohen taught us all, “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.” 

Perhaps that broken pane should remain as it is.  A testimony to what occurs when light is not allowed to shine and illuminate deception. 

I remember when I was in high school, visiting the Capitol for the first time.  It is a place of stunning awe.  It is a space in which gigantic efforts have been made by gigantic people who nonetheless put their pants on one leg at a time. We often don’t realize the fragile existence of active freedom and the concomitant requirement of tzimtzum (reducing oneself) that must accompany it. 

We are not freed from Egypt for gluttony’s sake, but satiety.  We are not liberated from bondage in order to feed our voracious need for self-expression.  No, we are unshackled in order to insure the banishment of chains for all others.  And the pain endures for the many and the not-as-mighty who haven’t been seen because of the broken pain too many carry in their hearts. 

So leave the pane, and let the sun shine in, illuminating and thus requiring action, healing, wholeness, compassion and unbridled joy – as a guaranteed right to all of God’s children. 

Sat, June 19 2021 9 Tammuz 5781