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You don’t need me to tell you.
This is an historic day!
A day that has inspired millions of people all over the world.
And there’s a word that we’ve been hearing constantly.
As in ‘dreaming of a better world. A better future.’
And who didn’t hear it yesterday, Martin Luther King’s birthday?
“I have a dream!”
What does Jewish tradition say about that kind of dreaming?
… We invented it!
Think of the words said by the Jewish prophet, Isaiah, 2500 years ago.
“They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift sword against nation and they will no longer study warfare.”
The Jewish people have been the word’s best dreamers.
And Isaiah’s words were quoted at today’s inauguration.
Because they have become the “American dream” as well.
… And there’s something else that you don’t need me to tell you.
Isaiah’s dream has not yet been fulfilled. There are still forces of evil in the world.
People like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.
Who would rather supply “tools of war” than “tools of peace”.
And who would like to wipe the “dreamers” off the face of the earth.
And there’s Hamas.
Who would rather smuggle in “swords” than purchase “plowshares”.
And while Jewish tradition does tell us to keep dreaming?
It also tells us that, in the meantime, we need to fight evil.
And that’s a very tough balance.
… So while as Jews we should share in today’s excitement? We also have much to be concerned about. And we need to pray that G-d guides President Obama.
He has an unbelievably difficult job!
I would suggest that we all say this traditional Jewish prayer for our government.
“May G-d bless and protect, help and exalt the President of the United States. May the supreme King of kings, in His mercy, sustain him and deliver him from all distress and misfortune. May He, in His mercy, inspire him and all his counselors and aids to deal kindly with us and with all of Israel. In their days and in our days may Judah be saved, Israel dwell in security and a redeemer come to Zion.
May this be the will of G-d, and let us say, Amen.
All the best,