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My heart is troubled by the divisions in our country. The Jewish people know all too well the feelings of uncertainty and fear.
At times like this I look to Jewish text for wisdom. In this past week’s Torah portion, our Jewish weekly Bible reading, we meet Rebecca. As the story goes, Abraham sends his servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Isaac. Eliezer travels through the arid desert in search of a woman for Isaac, and before long he meets Rebecca. When Rebecca sees Eliezer and his camels, she rushes over, first giving water to Eliezer and then drawing water for his camels. This chesed, loving-kindness, as the Torah describes it, is exactly what Eliezer has been looking for. We too are in search of chesed, loving-kindness, and I hope that we can see it and feel it here today. Rebecca’s actions serve as an example and reminder of how we must act in the world.
In Psalm 89 we find the phrase “Olam chesed yibaneh,” a world of loving-kindness will be built. The Hebrew is passive rather than active. It does not specify who will build this world. I believe that we will build it, that we must build it.
God, Adonai, hear our prayers for peace and love, shelter us, and provide us with Rebecca’s urgency as we work to build a country and a world of loving-kindness.