Blog

298http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2017/01/RabbiLyonsBlog-01_20_2017
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 01_20_2017
01/20/2017 12:00 PM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon
January 20, 2017

 

The Exodus begins, tonight. This Shabbat, we open the Book of Exodus to the familiar story. If we read it as if it were new to us, then every verse would be filled with suspense, intrigue, angst, faithlessness, and hope, again. We would want to read to the end to learn the fate of the Israelites, because the plot is so gripping (Hollywood really knows how to pick a script). And, we retell the Exodus story every year in every generation, because the Exodus is such a great metaphor for our life.

                From the Exodus we learn from our Sages, "All beginnings are hard.” It’s true. Anybody’s first day in a new job will be the most difficult. Anybody’s first love relationship will be the most endearing. And, anybody’s first journey will feel like the longest. It’s only after retirement that one’s career feels that it went faster than it really did. It’s only after 50 plus years of marriage that a couple might look back longingly on the years that went by so quickly. And, it’s only on the return trip home that the journey feels so short. Lessons we learn along the way become part of the commentary we add to our own Exodus stories.

                On Friday, January 20th, the United States welcomes its 45thpresident. Statistically, 40% of Americans welcome the start of this journey even though it’s filled with suspense and intrigue. But, the rest of Americans already register angst and faithlessness. Remember that all beginnings are hard; and, angst and faithlessness can be overcome. Evidence of leadership and service to a larger cause can replace angst with confidence, and faithlessness with belief. It took Moses and the Israelites to reach some accord over the course of many years. Though Americans are in a hurry, it has institutions of Democracy and courts of law on which our nation has always relied. Leaders have come and gone; some have been weak and untrustworthy, and others have been great and remarkable. John F. Kennedy, a Catholic and a great president, was once falsely accused of having a direct line to the Vatican from which he would take his direction. Richard Nixon’s involvement in Watergate taught us that we had to hold our political leaders accountable. In the Reagan and Clinton eras, we learned how their respective strengths and visions enabled America to benefit from her core economic and social values. Through it all, our nation endured.

Like them or not, every American president is one of us, and about the newest president, 40% of Americans agree. Suspense and intrigue lead them to follow, while the others have no other choice. In the ancient story, some Israelites eagerly followed Nachshon into the Red Sea, as Moses raised his arms to part the waters. Given the alternative to return to Pharaoh’s Egypt, the others quickly followed. Moses stumbled in his leadership. He failed to sanctify God’s name before the people and lost his privilege to enter the Promised Land. But, eventually he accomplished what he was singled out by God to do.

We know lot about Moses, and our new president is no Moses; but, he is the one whom we need to watch and follow. At his best, he should raise us up and assure us. At our best, we should consider him to be another American like us, whom we need to hold accountable to the institutions of our land, to the standards we know are best, and to the outcome all Americans demand, namely, hope in tomorrow for one and all.

Together, let’s open the Torah to the first verses of Torah, and embark on this journey. We often wish it wouldn’t have to take us so far and for so long, but we have no choice. If we wish to reach a better time, a Promised time, together, then we must go and faithfully serve the needs of our nation.


You may contact Rabbi David Lyon here.
Blog Search

Categories

Archives

201807July2
July 2018 (2)
201806June4
June 2018 (4)
201805May3
May 2018 (3)
201804April4
April 2018 (4)
201803March5
March 2018 (5)
201802February4
February 2018 (4)
201801January4
January 2018 (4)
201712December4
December 2017 (4)
201711November2
November 2017 (2)
201710October2
October 2017 (2)
201708August3
August 2017 (3)
201707July4
July 2017 (4)
201706June4
June 2017 (4)
201705May2
May 2017 (2)
201704April3
April 2017 (3)
201703March4
March 2017 (4)
201702February3
February 2017 (3)
201701January3
January 2017 (3)
201612December4
December 2016 (4)
201611November3
November 2016 (3)
201610October3
October 2016 (3)
201609September4
September 2016 (4)
201608August2
August 2016 (2)
201607July5
July 2016 (5)
201606June2
June 2016 (2)
201605May3
May 2016 (3)
201604April4
April 2016 (4)
201603March3
March 2016 (3)
201602February2
February 2016 (2)
201601January4
January 2016 (4)
201512December4
December 2015 (4)
201511November3
November 2015 (3)
201510October2
October 2015 (2)
201509September2
September 2015 (2)
201508August4
August 2015 (4)
201507July5
July 2015 (5)
201506June4
June 2015 (4)
201505May2
May 2015 (2)
201504April5
April 2015 (5)
201503March3
March 2015 (3)
201502February4
February 2015 (4)
201501January4
January 2015 (4)
201412December3
December 2014 (3)
201411November3
November 2014 (3)
201410October4
October 2014 (4)
201409September2
September 2014 (2)
201408August3
August 2014 (3)
201407July3
July 2014 (3)
201406June3
June 2014 (3)
201405May3
May 2014 (3)
201404April4
April 2014 (4)
201403March3
March 2014 (3)
201402February4
February 2014 (4)
201401January5
January 2014 (5)
201312December3
December 2013 (3)
201311November3
November 2013 (3)
201310October4
October 2013 (4)
201309September2
September 2013 (2)
201308August5
August 2013 (5)
201307July4
July 2013 (4)
201306June4
June 2013 (4)
201305May5
May 2013 (5)
201304April4
April 2013 (4)
201303March4
March 2013 (4)
201302February4
February 2013 (4)
201301January5
January 2013 (5)
201212December4
December 2012 (4)
201211November5
November 2012 (5)
201210October4
October 2012 (4)
201209September2
September 2012 (2)
201208August5
August 2012 (5)
201207July4
July 2012 (4)
201206June3
June 2012 (3)
201205May5
May 2012 (5)
201204April4
April 2012 (4)
201203March5
March 2012 (5)
201202February4
February 2012 (4)
201201January4
January 2012 (4)
201112December5
December 2011 (5)
201111November3
November 2011 (3)
201110October3
October 2011 (3)
201109September4
September 2011 (4)
201108August4
August 2011 (4)
201107July3
July 2011 (3)
201106June4
June 2011 (4)
201105May4
May 2011 (4)
201104April4
April 2011 (4)
201103March5
March 2011 (5)
201102February4
February 2011 (4)
201101January4
January 2011 (4)
201012December5
December 2010 (5)
201011November4
November 2010 (4)
201010October5
October 2010 (5)
201009September2
September 2010 (2)
201008August2
August 2010 (2)
201006June3
June 2010 (3)
201005May5
May 2010 (5)
201004April3
April 2010 (3)
Captavi QixSuite™ - Hosted Marketing Automation Software ©