Prepent: 40 daily reminders to change for good and go into a new year, better. read more/subscribe
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Oct 1/Tishrei 6
Rev. William Barber, the man who started a social change movement in North Carolina called Moral Mondays, preached in New York City last night, guest of Auburn Seminary and Groundswell and brought the house down. Or rather, up, on our feet.
In that electric style of prophetic preachers he called on us all to stand in the gap of social inequality and rise to the challenge, biblical and contemporary, of saving the soul of society from all of of the ills that keep hijacking it and us away from the true justice and equality and simple honest happiness, for all.
He reminded me why my son loves superheroes so much. It’s not just the violence and fireworks. Deep inside his soul he years for for the battle of the good guys taking on all evil and saving the world on every episode, while looking great in tights.
On Kveller, a Jewish parenting site, Sharrona Pearl wrote a couple of days ago about a conversation at the dollar store that woke her up to the reality of poverty right around the corner and what she needs to know and what she can do about it. Too late for Maria Fernandes, who died tragically this week while taking a nap in her car, in between her three jobs at Dunkin Donuts in NJ just to be able to keep up with the rent. But not late for millions of others struggling with minimum wage. What is my response? our responsibility?
Yom Kippur, just three days away, is about our house cleaning as individuals – and as a public. It isn’t easy for a congregation, community, city, nation or state to come clean and step up to do better for the lives of all, for the health of soil and soul and society and it doesn’t happen overnight but it does happen. And it usually begins with one individual crazy enough, as Rev. Barber is, to step in the gap.
So how will I save the world this coming year? How will you? How will we?
One of those late night strolls through Facebook (still grateful yet growingly suspicious and tired of) stumbled on Mark Manson’s Seven Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life’s Purpose: A recommended short read. Not exactly just another life hacking list. For question #4 he writes:
“to live a happy and healthy life, we must hold on to values that are greater than our own pleasure or satisfaction.
So pick a problem and start saving the world. There are plenty to choose from. Our screwed up education systems, economic development, domestic violence, mental health care, governmental corruption. Hell, I just saw an article this morning on sex trafficking in the US and it got me all riled up and wishing I could do something. It also ruined my breakfast.
Find a problem you care about and start solving it.”
You may be doing this already, committing time, talent and money to a cause or three that matter to you. Great. Keep it up. How will you upgrade this year? And if not, let’s get going.
For those of you who are joining me at Lab/Shul this coming year – this is a serious agenda I want us to discuss together. The power of one is only as great as the power of many in stepping up to the gap and claiming the prophetic vision of justice for all. In Hebrew this is called Hinenni – Here I am.
Hinneni: Here we go.