The 2016 Election has been one of the most vitriolic and divisive elections that I can remember. It's almost as if the United States has entered an intellectual, emotional, and spiritual civil war. Or perhaps a civil war of values.
Forgiveness and unity after the election are states of mind and heart that I hope our country can attain. To that end, I quote below an excerpt from an essay I wrote on this website, Reclaiming the Magnificent Divinity of Men. Note that the essay was written to men, but the sentiments and context apply equally to women.
In the essay snippet below, I quote Rabbi Johanan bar Nappaha (lived 180–279 CE) (emphasis added). I love the sentiment that he expressed.
In our efforts to defend our wives, our families and our lands, we have sometimes forgotten that our divinity is shared by all men, even by the enemies who attack us.
The third century scholar, Rabbi Johanan bar Nappaha, wrote, “The ministering angels wanted to sing a hymn at the destruction of the Egyptians, but God said, ‘My children lie drowned in the sea, and you would sing?’”
Treating a vanquished enemy with compassion requires empathy, “the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person’s feelings.” Charging a hill against an aggressor who threatens our homes may not be an action that lends itself to empathy. Yet, when the battle is over, extending the hand of friendship can turn enemies into friends, as was demonstrated by the heightened friendship between the United States, Germany and Japan, after World War II.