What to do after the election

Shock. Disbelief. Fear. Anxiety.

We woke up this morning in what at best is an alternate reality and at worst is our greatest nightmare.

This presidential campaign came to a different end than most of us expected, and that many reading this desired.

To those who voted for President-elect Trump, I pray that our country does live up to your best hopes. I also ask that you pay attention to the grief and mourning that others feel today.

Had Hillary Clinton won, I would hope that her supporters would also respect the sense of loss on the other side.

This is a day for grieving. We grieve the loss of a dream. We grieve because we fear that the world will never be the same.

This campaign has fanned the flames of fear. Now that the election is over, it is up to all of us to find the source of our fear, to confront it, and to refuse to succumb to it.

In times of fear and pain, I find wisdom and solace in the Psalms:

In distress I called on You, and You answered me by expanding my vision.  You are for me, I will not fear. What can any human do to me?  (Psalm 118:5-6, translation my own)

Fear and pain, though overwhelming today, will pass. I recommend that each of us take time to be with our pain and to come together in comfort. This is not a time to make life-changing decisions, or to jump to conclusions. Grief deserves time and attention all by itself.

I also recommend that we all take a few days to appreciate that this protracted ugly campaign has finally come to an end. Turn off the news and reach out to people face to face. We need our most loving relationships at this moment. We need to share love and compassion. We need to calm our souls. Only then can we come together fearlessly to rediscover our purpose and rekindle our passion.

In the evening we lie down in tears, we awaken to the morning in song. When all was calm, I thought, “I will never stumble.” Your favor made me stand mountain-strong. (Psalm 30:6-8)

Mourn. Then organize. No matter who won the election, the struggle continues.

Rabbi Barbara Penzner

Posted on November 14, 2016 .