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May This Be Our Hope

January 12, 2020
by Mark David Siegel

Hi everyone,

I’ve been meaning to reach out to many of you, so this morning, I’ll reach out to all of you together.

Our residency is an oasis. Our days overflow with kindness and compassion, bearing little resemblance to the chaos consuming the world beyond. We read about catastrophe online and in the newspapers. We see it on TV. We can’t avert our gaze.

As I write this morning, earthquakes threaten the island of Puerto Rico, where fellow citizens still haven’t recovered from Hurricane Maria. Also this morning, epic fires engulf Australia, spreading apocalyptic damage. Today, and every day, innocents succumb to gun violence, addiction, and preventable illness. Lives are diminished by discrimination.

Two particular concerns touch me this morning, because they directly affect our community, and because they assault our deepest values.

The first is the rise of anti-Semitism, causing death, injury, and desecration around the world and, increasingly, close to home. The hatred comes from all sides, echoing the same appalling stereotypes and conspiracy theories that led many of our ancestors to seek refuge here in the first place. That anti-Semitism should reemerge in America is terrifying.

The second is the escalating violence in the Middle East. Can it really be that a passenger plane was shot out of the sky, and that our President has threatened war crimes? Before things deteriorate further, can we consider the lives of millions of people who just want to live in peace, just like we do?

This weekend, my thoughts go out to our entire residency community, particularly those personally touched by violence and tragedy.

May we resolve, today and always,
To speak with compassion,
To listen with open hearts,
To act with kindness,
And to support one another.

May we strive for peace,
On this oasis we call home,
And wherever our lives should take us.

May this be our hope. May it be so. May we make it so,

Mark

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on January 12, 2020