January 6th, 2021 — Rabbi Sharon Brous
Like all of you, I am watching the armed insurrection unfolding in DC.
Even as we pray for the safety and protection of all whose lives are endangered by this violence and chaos, it’s critical that we acknowledge that no part of this is accidental. Those storming the Capitol today were fed a heresy. They’ve been taught that it’s legitimate to actively suppress the vote and violently overturn a free and fair election if they don’t like the result. But they’ve been fed lies far more foundational than that. They’ve been told, day after day, year after year, that this country is not big enough to hold us all. They’ve been taught that the dignity of some would come only at the expense of others. That the ascent of justice, of the call to equity and equality, means the end of their power, the end of their supremacy. They’ve been taught that God loves them more and they’ve been fed racist lies as a balm for their suffering.
Who is responsible? Every person who silently stood by as these lies festered and this violence was fueled. Those who demurred when children were torn from their parents’ arms at the border and cried “law and order!” when peaceful protesters were teargassed as they stood for Black lives. Those who engaged in homiletical acrobatics to muddy the abundantly clear “fine people on both sides,” and dismissed the embrace of white nationalists from the highest offices. Those who shrugged when terrorists stormed the statehouse and plotted to kidnap the Governor of Michigan. Those who said, again and again, “I don’t like what he says, but I like what he does.” Those who justified, excused, obfuscated, and pointed fingers at everyone but the architects of the machinery of fear and division.
I pray that we are able to begin a new chapter of accountability, honesty and justice for all. Are we ready for the kind of spiritual transformation that this will require? Are we prepared to examine how our own fear and silence might have contributed to this poisoned reality? Are we willing to do the work to replace narratives and norms of white supremacy and toxic masculinity with a new narrative of redemption?
I believe that we can do this. Yesterday, when Rev. Raphael Warnock was elected the first Black Senator from the state of Georgia, he quoted Psalm 30:6: בָּ֭עֶרֶב יָלִ֥ין בֶּ֗כִי וְלַבֹּ֥קֶר רִנָּֽה׃ – We may lie down weeping at nightfall, but joy comes in the morning. Right now I’m scared, too. But I know in my heart that the new dawn is coming.
Tonight at 5:30pm PST (8:30pm EST), we’ll join friends from around the country for song, prayer, reflection and a call to action with T’ruah. Please join us.
With prayers for peace—
R’ Sharon Brous