Polarized and Not Going To Take It Anymore

War and Peace.jpeg

So they say about Washington politics, “if you’re not on offense, then you’re on defense.”


In the polarized mood of the nation, this has never been more true. 


The alt-left and alt-right are stronger than ever and pointing fingers and fists at one another. 


Each side, the ultra -liberals and -conservatives are duking it out over who is is going on the offensive today.


Only to be outmaneuvered the very next day and be placed back on the defensive. 


Who communicated with the Russians today?


Who used their private email today?


Who committed perjury and lied under oath today?


Who was offensive and even violent at rallies and protests today? 


And on and on…


You’re either on offense or your stuck on defense!


And the more polarized and hateful of each other this nation has become, including in the media, the more the outrageous the accusations and the more alternate facts and fake news. 


But what I learned today is that this doesn’t just apply to politics.


Religion is another prime source for discrimination and hate of your fellow man. 


I remember learning that over history, more people have died in wars in the name of religion than for any other reason.


So too today, the “crazy-hard line” ultra religious and the “throw-it-all away” irreligious are just as polarized. 


The religious mock the irreligious as self-haters and atheists and the irreligious make fun of the rightwing religious as abusive and robotic.


Moreover, any disagreement results in insults and loathing over who is morally superior.


Of course, everyone cites sources and authorities to show why their position is the correct one and everyone else is wrong about religion and G-d. 


Attack, defend, attack, defend. 


No wonder nothing is getting constructively done.


No wonder children are confused. 


No wonder those around us laugh at our seeming inability to come together, all as G-d’s wonderful creatures. 


Who will be on the attack today and who will be on defense. 


If only we could have a panini instead of all this anger, hate, extremism, and rejectionist bias toward our fellow man. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Look How Great Magen David Is

Magen David - Star of David

The Magen David is the Star or Shield of David.


It is the symbol of the Jewish people and of Israel (it is center on the Israeli Flag, the Degel Yisrael), and dates back at least a 1,000 years. 


Magen David Sephardic Congregation is also the name of our wonderful new synagogue in Maryland.


As the amazing picture above shows, the Magen David actually can represent every single letter (24) of the Hebrew alphabet. 


As such, Magen David truly represents what a Jewish synagogue is and should be:


1) INCLUSIVE — As every Hebrew letter is found in the Star of David, so too the synagogue is a place where every Jew, no matter Ashkenaz or Sephardic, Chasidim or Misnagdim, Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform–everyone is welcome and part of the greater family and community. The synagogue is a place we go to connect with our fellow Jews, where we respect and care for each other–our brothers and sisters, and where we Kibitz, laugh, and share of our selves and our heritage together. 


2) HOLY — The Magen David is holy as the religious symbol of the Jewish people and representing all the hebrew letters as in the Torah and the Ten Commandments. Some also believe in a Kabbalistic or mystical symbolism to the points of the star. Similarly, the synagogue is a place of holiness, and the Mikdash Me’at or small Temple (until the Holy Temple is rebuilt on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem).  It is the place we go to sacrifice to G-d and a central place where we can do good deeds for our fellow man. 


3) PRAYER AND LEARNING — The Magen David represents the Jewish people, who are known as a people of the book.  And the Magen David with all the Hebrew letters can represent all the Bible, prayer book, and wisdom of our sages. Prayer and learning is central to our faith and service to G-d. Similarly, the synagogue (and Yeshiva or Jewish school) is the center of our religion where we go daily and on Shabbat and holidays to Pray and learn Torah.  


Magen David is an absolutely beautiful and meaningful symbol for who we are and what our synagogue ought to be. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to eshevbooks)