Rabbi Daniel Atwood: ‘The World Is Still Spinning’

Voice Notes of Hope is a series of encouraging words from rabbis, just when we need them the most.

It’s a scary time. Many of us are feeling despaired. Many of us are feeling hopeless. And we could all use a boost. So, we asked our favorite rabbis to send us voice notes of hope, reminders that as bad as things feel now, we must not give up. Here’s Rabbi Daniel Atwood, a noted speaker and teacher on LGBTQ issues in the Jewish community and a community organizer around criminal justice reform.

“With everything going on, a major election happening as we speak, many of us are probably feeling scared or hopeless. First off: those feelings are most certainly valid and legitimate. It’s okay to take a minute and feel whatever it is you are feeling.

One teaching I am thinking a lot about is after Noah leaves the Ark, after 40 days and 40 nights living on the Ark during the flood, God tells Noah that God will never make a flood that destroys the whole world again, and that ‘as long as the world exists, the seasons of planting and harvesting, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease.’ God made a promise that the world will never be totally destroyed again.

Right now, it might feel like we are coming awfully close. But as the seasons change, pay attention to the changing weather. There are a lot of jokes about how it still feels like March. Let that pass. Feel the weather change from hot, to cool, to cold. See the days get shorter, the moon wax and wane. The inventory at the grocery store shift from summer fruits and food to winter fruits and foods.

Even with everything going on, the world is still spinning, and God promised that it won’t stop. Take a minute just to feel that circle of life that is still happening around us, breathe it in, embrace it, and at the very least, we can face everything going on knowing that it is not March 2020 anymore. The world, and nature, is still spinning. And even if we have literally nothing else, we still have that.”

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