Storming the Capitol

This is supposed to be America, the land of democracy. We have elections, there are winners and losers and people move on. Instead we have a president who refused to accept the election results, still claiming the election was “stolen,” asking elected officials in Georgia and Pennsylvania to overturn the state’s results as well as his Vice President, and unsubstantiated accusations of widespread voter fraud. Should we be surprised that this would lead to an attempted coup? I was but perhaps the stage was already set.

The president’s tweet “stay peaceful” makes no sense. The capitol has been stormed, people’s lives are in danger. It is one of the saddest days in our country’s history. People who cannot accept democratic results, who instead will threaten violence and death. I’m afraid this might be the lynchpin that pushes our democracy beyond the point of no return.

In Judaism we are taught “incline after the majority” (Exodus 23:2). The Talmud always keeps the minority opinion yet the majority declares the day. Protesting and persuasion are Jewish values; rioting and terrorizing because you don’t get your way are not. It is very upsetting to me that this is where our country is at today. What we need in 2021 is an opportunity for healing our country’s divide and working together. I hope that can become a reality and the horror show of today can become a vestige of the past.

About the Author
Rabbi Ben Herman joined Bet Shira Congregation in 2019. He values personally engaging with each individual he meets and hearing their story. Karina and he are the parents of two beautiful girls: Ariela Shira and Leora Rose.
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