Restored hope

I couldn’t stop weeping yesterday as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oaths of office as President and Vice-President. My heart opened when I listened to the elevated inspired words and rhythmic cadences of a young poet laureate Amanda Gorman. And I felt confident in the reemergence of common decency in the top political and governmental leadership in our nation as I listened to our new President speak about the meaning of American exceptionalism and how we as a nation “can do anything if we do it together.”

Was our national nightmare of the last four years really over?

I watched with a sense of renewed possibilities for our nation the evening inaugural celebration moderated from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King spoke of his dream for this nation.

Has our national leadership really returned to reflect the best of who we are as Americans?

I couldn’t stop saying aloud “WOW!” as I watched the spectacular pyrotechnic display as a crescendo of the day over the Washington Memorial signifying a new era of hope and possibility.

Is there really now reason for hope after so many horrid years?

We’ve witnessed these last few years the truth of the saying that “a fish rots from the head”; but it’s also true that great leaders can inspire the best in us. Great leadership isn’t about power and profit. It’s about decency, dignity, accountability, competency, and a commitment to the common good.

I believe that in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris we have such leaders, and because of this we have reason to hope.

Yesterday was a new beginning, and our tears of joy and hopes for the future were, I believe, a reflection of the truth that deep down we know we’ve embarked on a new beginning.

About the Author
John L. Rosove is Senior Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Israel of Hollywood in Los Angeles. He is a national co-Chair of the Rabbinic and Cantorial Cabinet of J Street and a past National Chairman of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA). He serves as a member of the Advisory Council of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism. John was the 2002 Recipient of the World Union for Progressive Judaism International Humanitarian Award and has received special commendation from the State of Israel Bonds. In 2013 he was honored by J Street at its Fifth Anniversary Celebration in Los Angeles. John is the author of 3 books - "From the West to the East - A Memoir of a Liberal American Rabbi" (2024), "Why Israel Matters - Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to the Next Generation with an Afterword by Daniel and David Rosove" (Revised edition 2023), and “Why Judaism Matters – Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation with an Afterword by Daniel and David Rosove” (2017). All are available at John translated and edited the Hebrew biography of his Great Granduncle – "Avraham Shapira – Veteran of the Haganah and Hebrew Guard" by Getzel Kressel (publ. by the Municipality of Petach Tikvah, 1955). The translation was privately published (2021). John is married to Barbara. They are the parents of two sons - Daniel (married to Marina) and David. He has two grandchildren and he lives in Los Angeles.
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