It Is Good To Get Away

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            Sometimes it is good to get away. The first post Covid trip has ended and with it some impressions that seemed to pop up at random times. I mention this as a way of suggesting, strongly, that if you have a chance to get away, especially to another country, take it! There is something about getting away from the routine and inserting yourself in another culture that is both challenging and exciting. And you learn a lot. So many of our generation, if we have been blessed with some economic security, have known the value of traveling to another culture. Likewise, if you are open to it, one can learn a lot; not about how different so many things are, but how similar so many things are.

            You sit and talk to people in a café, or the dining room on a cruise and it is not too amazing that you come away with the understanding that most of us struggle with the same issues, no matter where we may be. People bond over their families, children and grandchildren, music, sports, and film and simple pleasures. Politics? Rarely. It is amazing to be reminded that despite various cultures, languages, and customs, at the heart of most things, all of us, around the world, are so similar in our basic wants and needs. There are always the BIG issues, such as the rapidly changing environment and climate, economic disparity, and political realities; but in so many ways, we are all so similar. You get to understand how meaningless, in many ways, are boundaries between countries (all made by people for so many reasons)

            You also get to be reminded of why it is so frustrating to see so much in our world that is based on fear and difference rather than similarities and hope. This is a subject for a High Holiday sermon, which we will not do here. But we live in such a divided world, where fear of the unknown or fear of people who are “different” or “the other” seems to be growing.  Yet, if you just travel and engage people in a basic way you come to understand how much of a waste of time and resources it is to traffic in fear and division. No two people are the same. Our tradition celebrates the uniqueness of each of us. Why not celebrate that uniqueness on every level, rather than trying to divide people because some may look, act, speak, or live life in a way that may be different from the “majority” (whatever that may be!) In the end, each of us wishes just to be needed, to love and be loved, and to count for something in our brief time of life.

            Stay safe and well. Shalom,

Rabbi Richard F Address

1 Comment

  1. I have traveled extensively, both in person and of late virtually. Each time I come away with a silly little song in my head…”It’s A Small World After All”.

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