There is a debate happening in the state of Florida, caused by the governor’s repeated use of the word “woke.” He uses the word to disparage people who are pro-reproductive rights, anti-book banning, and pretty much in direct contrast to everything he believes.
And as it happens, I am one of the people he’s talking about. But rather than think of myself as “woke,” I am more interested in being a person who is paying attention to the world around herself, and working to make it a better place for everyone, whether they’re woke or not, Republican or Democrat.
This weekend, the Jewish communities around the world will read the Song of the Sea, called Shirat HaYam in Hebrew. It is the triumphant poem that Moses recited after the Children of Israel crossed the Reed Sea, which had miraculously divided for them, allowing them to walk across on dry land.
The song celebrates freedom and the virtues of their God, who rescued them from the Egyptians.
There is a midrash, a story that I particularly like about the crossing. It involves two men who were somewhere in the middle of the vast crush of people.
They spent the entire time grumbling, looking down at their feet.
“Oh my gosh, that’s a dead fish. What a stench!” said one.
“Ugh, look. Watch out for the donkey poop,” said the other.
“There is mud all over the hem of my robe,” the first grumbled. And on and on they went.
When they reached the other side, there was Miriam, dancing and singing with the women. They strode up to Miriam and said, “What are you doing? Why are you so happy? That was disgusting!”
Miriam looked at them and said sadly, “You missed it. The greatest miracle of all time for the greatest number of people all at once, and you missed it, because you forgot to look up.”
Not only did the men miss the miracle itself, they missed the fact that they were part of something greater, a community of people, all of whom experienced the same thing. But they missed it. They didn’t look up.
The power of being a part of a community is that you find yourself among a group of people who have taken the time to look up and look around themselves. They have made a commitment to be part of something greater, and to work for the greatest good. They watch out for each other, call members who are ill or in need, gather together to serve the wider community.
It’s simple. Wake up, and look up.
You always hit the nail on the head!
jack steenbarger said:
YOU ARE NOT OFF TARGET..BUT LIKE MOST OF THE POPULATION ARE MISSING THE REAL STORY(IN MY MIND) EVERY FACTION IN COUNTRY IS PITTED AGAINST OR FOR SOME POLITICAL POINT OF VIEW …THUS RACE,RELIGIOUS. POLITICAL ALL ARE BEING STIMULATED TO ENCREASE HATERED OR FEAR..ALL OF WHICH WILL MAKE IT EASY TO INSTALL A NON-DEMOCRATIC GOVT..WHEN NEW COLLEGE WAS GIVING GRIEF TO JEWISH STUDENT THE LEARDERSHIP DID NOTHING..NOW THEY ARE ALL UPSET BECAUSE THE CONSERATIVES HAVE TAKEN OVER.. WE JEW HAVE A PROBLEM KNOWING WHO ARE FRIENDS ARE OR IF WE DONT ANY..
SRQ Jew said:
Jack, please do not type your entire message in all capital letters. It implies that you’re shouting, and I don’t really want to be shouted at. Thank you!
Happy and proud to be looking up with you! This lightens my heart a bit.
Charles H White said:
Well spoken my Friend. The term “woke” was conceived as and is used as a derogratory term.
The term “awakening” would be much a more accurate description of the concept
of the effort to “wake up”!
If people realized they were being told to go back to sleep, maybe some of them would wake up and help us….
you are right. the woke community should look up and see the harm they are impressing upon children. the sexualizing of young children is criminal. you do not need waters to part to see it. it takes courage to admit mistakes. do woke people have such conviction?
SRQ Jew said:
My point is that both sides have convictions. We can disagree, but it’s not appropriate to question the convictions of others. We all have the best interests of our communities’ children in mind.
you and i agree. there are others, however, who sadly believe that they have children’s interest at heart but they really don’t. a child’s innocence is important. a child’s decision concerning their most personal matters are theirs. destroying their ability to reproduce before they are functioning adults is remnant of a time when sterilization was employed upon certain individuals.