Search URJ.org and the other Reform websites:

Words for When Everything Feels Alt-Wrong

Words for When Everything Feels Alt-Wrong

Paper stick figures holding hands in a circle against a blue background

I can't stop thinking about #Charlottesville, and I can't stop thinking about this phrase "alt-right" – or how it is absolutely, inherently wrong.

I can't stop thinking about the interviews of white nationalists who say they are going to do what our president promised and that they are going to be the ones to "take our country back."

And I can't stop thinking that I want to reclaim this phrase.

I want to take our country back from anyone who believes that violence solves problems.

I want to take our country back from fear of "the other."

I want to take our country back from anyone who is afraid that someone else might get or have a little more than they think they should get/have.

I want to take our country back from people whose anger blinds their compassion.

I want to take our country back from people who somehow think it is more theirs than ours.

I want to take our country back from people who think they are better than someone else merely because of the color of their skin.

I want to take our country back from people who think they are better than someone else because of (the luck of) where they were born.

I want to take our country back from people who use religion as a weapon.

I want to take our country back from people who claim to be Christian, yet forget that Jesus preached love for all and that every person must care for those most vulnerable in our society.

I want to take our country back from bigotry and hatred.

In Leviticus 19:18, we are taught to "love your neighbor as yourself.” All major religions have similar teachings, yet this is not our collective experience in our country right now. Each of us must now make a choice regarding how we will respond.

Trying to really live these words is my act of resistance. This is just one way I'm taking my country back.

What's yours?

Join the Reform Jewish community's response to the hate and bigotry in Charlottesville. This week, #BeTheLightForJustice: Take a photo of yourself holding a candle of unity, then post it to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag. Next, learn about action steps to take for direct responses to terror from the Union for Reform Judaism.

Rabbi Cookie Lea Olshein is in her 6th year as rabbi of Temple Israel of West Palm Beach, FL, after serving as a rabbi in Austin, TX, for four years. Her childhood interest in justice led her to decision at the age of 12 to become a lawyer. After practicing law for more than 10 years, she decided to combine turn her passion for Jewish learning and “Jewish doing” into her career and began her rabbinic studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Rabbi Cookie Lea Olshein
Submit a blog post

Share your voice: ReformJudaism.org accepts submissions to the blog

Blogroll