I’m afraid to tell you what I’m thinking. What I’m feeling.

But, I will.

Even though you might judge me. Label me. Misunderstand me.

I’m hurting because I feel this way, in the United States of America, where we enjoy the freedom of speech and expression. Where we should be able to celebrate diversity and learn from our differences.

I’m hurting.

I’m hurting because people I love are supporters of Secretary Clinton.
I’m hurting because people I love are supporters of President-elect Trump.
I’m hurting because people I love now hate each other because of who they supported, because of a choice they made, a right they have, a freedom they were given.

I’m hurting because people I love are afraid because of hateful words spoken by our next President. I’m hurting because their fear is real, but their fear is being belittled.

I’m hurting because people I love are now being labeled ignorant racists, bigots, anti-Semites and misogynists because they voted for Mr. Trump – not because they hate – but because they genuinely believe that our new President will make them safer and make their lives better. I’m hurting because none of these terrible labels define those I love.

I’m hurting because people I love are afraid to tell each other who they voted for.

I’m hurting because people I love, after much thought and great struggle, chose not to vote for either Secretary Clinton or President-elect Trump. I’m hurting because these people are being called cowards because they made a difficult decision.

I’m hurting because this election has encouraged those who hate and those who destroy to act. I’m hurting because peaceful protests are turning into dangerous riots. I’m hurting because the KKK is planning to march in North Carolina.

I’m hurting because most of the pollsters and the pundits and the media led us to believe one thing and something else happened. I’m hurting because we trust everything we hear and read and we’ve forgotten how to search for the truth on our own. I’m hurting because we refuse to see the other side of the story. I’m hurting because we can’t see our own hypocrisy.

I’m hurting because we’ve forgotten how to listen to each other. To respectfully disagree with each other. To learn from each other.

I’m hurting because when it comes to politics today, opposing points of view mean the end of relationships.

I’m hurting because last week, the President-elect said he might not accept the outcome of the election if he lost. I’m hurting because this week, we’ve watched as supporters of Secretary Clinton are refusing to accept the outcome of the election. I’m hurting because the vitriol of the campaign is not going away despite the amazing – yet surreal – transition of power that President Obama and President-elect Trump have begun.

I’m hurting because our politicians seem to so easily stand before us one day and bash their opponents. And the next day they seem to so easily move forward and treat these opponents cordially. I’m hurting because we don’t know how to play their game, nor do we want to.

I’m hurting because some want to gloat and some want to give up and there is so much work to be done – work that requires dialogue.

I’m hurting because we are “stronger together”. But, we’re not together.

I’m hurting because America is great. But we’re so broken and we need to “make America great again”.

I’m hurting because so much is broken, but so much has to be done. And in order to get things done the opposite sides must respectfully engage with each other.

I’m hurting.

But, despite my hurt, as odd as it sounds, I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful because I truly believe that brokenness can inspire tremendous new beginnings. And I believe that many of us can be inspired at this tumultuous time – if we stop labeling, attacking and making assumptions about the other – and start reaching out to, sharing and learning from those with whom we don’t see eye to eye. I believe we can inspire others by respectfully expressing our opinions and, at the same time, truly listening to the thoughts and feelings of those we share our lives with.

I’m hurting. But I’m hopeful because I believe in us.


  1. Lori Halpern Reply

    What a profoundly magnificent expression of what I am feeling and what so many are feeling. Brilliant piece, thank you so much for sharing.

    Lori Halpern, Jodi Pollack’s sister

  2. Sherri Winick Reply

    Thank you for your thoughtful expressions during an extremely difficult time in our country. I completely agree with your sentiments. The conditions have been set to make a difference. Now it is up to all the players to engage and I mean all Americans not just the politicians. I want to be hopeful that things will be good for everyone and perhaps this call for action is an indicator of Americas real truths. There are Americans who are not able to embrace our diversity, people who feel neglected or hurt on both sides of our politics. It is evident that this great divide needs to be truthfully addressed. Our leaders can make this happen if they are able to think of the common good. We have tremendous resources in America and they lie within our people. I too want to be hopeful that all people will be able to reach toward each other and find common ground. I hope that we are able to achieve this is the months ahead. Rabbi your words are an insprirstion.

  3. Very well said, Rabbi… I will do my part as difficult as it is.
    Caryn Amster

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Judith Fried Reply

    I have shared your meaningful words with my husband Jerry (veteran of WWII) who wasn’t feeling well last night or would have been to services. We are grateful to you for expressing the same feelings we feel.
    We yearn to have the inhabitants of our world to behave humanely to one another, to our fellow creatures of nature and to the environment in which we all must live. We wish all of us SHALOM peace and yes, love.

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