As we pivot from summer to the start of the year, as we round the corner from August to September, the prevailing feeling I hear from talking to people is edge and anxiety. In the last month alone: Charlottesville, Harvey in Texas, Irma in Florida, saber rattling and nuclear bomb testing in North Korea, an earthquake in Mexico, a tsunami warning.
Racial hatred, violence and death, and an abject failure of the White House to offer moral clarity and healing. Hurricanes, plural. The specter of nuclear war. Earthquake. A possible tsunami. In less than a month.
What wisdom does Judaism have here? How do we understand the difference between the world we have and the world we want? In the face of all this, so little of which we have control over, what can we do? What should we do? As a moral being, what must I do?
Tomorrow, our first Talmud class, I am going to share a sparkling typology developed by Yehuda Kurtzer at Hartman this past summer. It is entitled “Jewish Memory and the Future of Jewish Politics.”
At a time of epic, almost biblical, uncertainty, edge and plague, there is something we can do. There is something I must do.
See you tomorrow morning at 8:30.