- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On September 15, 2017
- 0 Comments
The Psalmists imagined what it might have felt like for the Babylonian exiles to return:
When the Eternal restores the fortunes of Zion
—we were like dreamers—
our mouths shall be filled with laughter,
our tongues, with songs of joy.
Then shall they say among the nations,
“The Eternal has done great things for them!” (126: 1-3)
Long ago, they understood that dreaming and hope are intertwined. It is what gave meaning in a time when the potential for loss was great. They had sowed in tears but could imagine that they would reap in joy. (126:5)
We, too, live in a time when there are dreamers who have great hope, but also enormous anxiety and fear for being exiled from the land they call home. Those who benefitted from DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, thought they could move forward with their lives in America, brought here when they were young, but now, are living a nightmare. They sow in tears and are certainly not secure regarding their fate.
Recently, I saw an editorial cartoon of children in their beds with the caption of “Dreamers.” They were not sleeping, however. With their blankets pulled up to their chins, their wide-awake eyes showed their distress. What will become of them? Who will advocate for them? Who is willing to protect them?
Nations are judged by how they treat their vulnerable residents and citizens. Totalitarian regimes may traffic in cruelty, but what about democracies? They become more fragile when those in need are ignored. We need our nation to be that beacon of hope for immigrants and these DACA kids and young adults. We need our leaders to take responsibility. Each of us may also be called upon as well.
The Psalmists pictured joy and laughter despite the trauma of exile. Let us hope that a similar expression of elation may bless those in limbo anxiously awaiting decisions by others concerning their fate.
When the sun drops below the horizon tonight to bring on Shabbat, and darkness fills the sky, a different kind of light begins to shine within from where we can draw strength and wisdom and then perhaps, to discover our own sacred purpose for how we will bring hope back out into the world.
Qabbalat Shabbat begins at 6:00 p.m. Live stream HERE. Torah Study starts at 9:00 a.m. with a short service followed by a lively discussion. We enter into the High Holy Days with a beautiful candlelit service at 10:00 p.m. We gather 8:15 p.m. for dessert, discussion, and conversation.
I welcome your reflections and reactions HERE.
I look forward to celebrating the new year 5778 with you. L’shanah Tovah!