The other day, as I was riding my bike in the hills of Inwood and Fort Tryon Park in upper Manhattan (yes, there are real hills in this part of the city, even a forest) I thought to myself. “Three months ago I needed a walker to get around my apartment…how blessed am I! How lucky to be alive!” I start most every day with the song “Halleluyah” by Nava Tehila, an Israeli group that I used to see in Jerusalem. My soon-to-be daughter-in-law sent it to me when I was in the hospital recovering from my near-death experience, thinking it would strengthen my spirit. How right she was!
I am writing this just days before the election and you will probably be reading it sometime after. Like most, if not all of you, I am very nervous about the outcome. What we have witnessed in the last four years is the decline of all norms of decency and truth telling disguised as political differences. Though I have never voted Republican, I always held the office of President in deep respect no matter who occupied the Oval Office. And I always prayed for his well-being for he was my President holding one of the most difficult and important jobs in the world. We may have disagreed over policy and the best way to make our nation strong, but at least we agreed on the facts. That all ended four years ago, and I do not want to dwell on the myriad reasons why that is so. Sadly and painfully, we know them all too well.
At the same time, I am one hundred percent convinced that our ultimate salvation will not come from politics. Not then, and not now. Yes, leaders can and do make a real qualitative difference in our lives. I do not underestimate that for a moment. Yet, there are values that transcend the political arena. There are ways of being in this world that politics cannot affect. Who I am is greater than any President. The loves of my life remain constant and will never be diminished by the outcome of any election. What is Eternal shall always be so. And no matter the exigencies of the moment, God (however we understand or relate to that word) will always be the One true light of the world.
I hope you voted. I did. And if the wrong man won, I hope we will remain united to resist his undermining of our national good, and that we will continue to be good to one another. For in the end, good will win over evil; and love will win over hate. God bless you, and God bless America!