Just when we thought we had seen and heard everything, the unthinkable came: an assault on our nation’s Capitol.  Who could have thought that this was possible in the one country that understood, and maybe now understands better, the value of civility and reasonable discourse -- the one country that represented the values of democracy and human dignity?

This is not meant to be a political essay, as I have always endeavored to steer clear of the quagmire that can sink any reasonable discussion. 

Passions are inflamed. Reason seems to have been misplaced somewhere in the maze of disbelief. Untruths seem to have developed a life of their own and sensible people have been drawn into the depths of mistrust.

What a mess!

Yet, there is a new dawn and a new freshness that will enhance the spirit of connection that is once more uniting us as we begin the process of healing. We are strong and resilient. We have learned over the almost two-and-a-half centuries of our existence that there is nothing we cannot overcome together.

We should continue to concentrate on the difficulties we face during this pandemic. Our efforts need to be directed to the safe and orderly distribution of the much-needed vaccine that will eventually free us of the scourge of the most difficult health issue of our time. We must endeavor to ensure that our country will remain strong and vibrant as we turn our attention to the plight of the hungry, the homeless, the displaced and those looking for the ability to once again be beneficiaries of a vibrant economy.

There is so much more that needs our attention. The distraction we encountered is just that, no more. We can overcome systemic racism, anti-Semitism, the distance between the haves and have nots, the disparity between the sexes, the lack of patriotism. 

Our country was founded on the principle of equality, and we need to return to that noble concept which seems to have been lost over time. Hopefully we will again understand that we need to join together as never before to continue the dream we inherited from prior generations who understood the desire for fulfillment.

The Prophet Isaiah warned us that sometimes we hear but do not understand; that we will see but never perceive; that our hearts will become calloused; that we will hardly hear with our ears and close our eyes. (Isaiah 6:10) 

Perhaps the Prophet was visualizing the future of our country and time.  Perhaps the Prophet was determined to teach us valuable lessons in the value of collective survival.

Regardless, it is up to us to heed these words as we endeavor to right the wrongs and extend our efforts toward reconciliation. The most important lesson is that together we succeed, divided we will fail.

May God watch over us. May God continue to bless this beacon of hope. May God protect all who serve our great country both in times of peace and war.  May God’s countenance shine on us and bring us peace. JN