Blessings on you, Rabbi Marc. I have a very simple question. With the exception of Pope Francis, why has every clergy member, present company included, refused to speak of Donald Trump's behavior? He's the antithesis of Judeo-Christian values. Thank you. — From J
This is what I believe:
There has never been one city in America where all the good people have gone to live.
There has never been one religion in America under which all the good people pray.
There has never been one political party in America for which all the good people have gone to vote.
There has never been one president of the United States whom God has blessed with perfect virtue.
These beliefs have animated the God Squad since Tommy [the late Father Tom Hartman] and I formed it in 1987. We also believed that getting sidetracked into pointless political squabbles diminished our real calling and our true message, which was, "We know enough about how we are different, but not enough about how we are all the same." I believe that it is our common grace to have all been made in the image of God, and it is the implications of that foundational belief of all three Abrahamic faiths that is my mission in my life and in this column — now, sadly, without Tommy.
There must be a way — we must all find a way — to disagree in the political, religious and personal spheres of our existence without becoming disagreeable. The tactic of accusing those who disagree with you politically of supporting an evil demon is false and destructive. It is destructive of the one motto that does truly make America great: e pluribus unum, or out of many, one.
If you seek from me confirmation of your divisive political opinions, you will need to find yourself a new rabbi — and this would be true no matter who sits in the Oval Office. Say this prayer with me, "Lord help us to find each other." Amen.
Three years ago, my sweet, wonderful husband, Morty, died from Alzheimer's. He forgot who I was, but he always remembered that he loved me — and kept proposing to me. He died six days before our 65th anniversary. I'm in an independent living center for seniors. I know I am well-liked because I come out of my apartment smiling, friendly, laughing . . . But when I go back to my apartment, I cry. I cannot adjust to life without him. I was 17 when I fell in love with him. I had a terrible childhood, but such a wonderful life after I met him and his mother. I keep busy restoring photos for the residents. I miss him so and want to die. Even if he has someone else in Heaven, it would be all right. If I see him smile, that would mean he's happy and that's all I want to know. I have heart disease and high blood pressure. I'm 87 and full of aches and pains. A man here told everyone I was "the love of his life." I only liked him, but it felt good to know a man loved me. Of course, he died. I cannot take this anymore. I want to stop taking my medications (There's a lot!). Would that be a sin? I eat meals here with a man who has Parkinson's. No one wants to eat with him because he shakes, has terrible manners and is hard to hear. I can see that he is intelligent and was probably great before he got sick. Is that why I am still here? I'd appreciate any advice you can give me. Thanks. — From P
Dearest angel P — yes, I believe you are an angel sent by God to give hope to those around you. You gave hope to your husband and your family and now to the people in your senior center. You make the photos of their old lives new again, and in that way you make their hope new again. But your question makes me cry. Whom will God send to bring hope to you?
A story: A man came to a healer and said, "I am full of sadness, and I do not want to live." The healer said, "Oh, it is simple, just go to the great clown Carlini, and he will smile and dance for you and you will be cured of your sadness." The man said to the healer, "You do not understand. I am Carlini."
It is hard to be Carlini, I know. But don't despair and don't give up. Just smile and dance, and you will light up the world around you. I love your kindness. I pray for you, Carlini.