Shhh

There is nothing to say.

There is only to stand

in silence,

And witness

In sadness and humility

The unraveling of what was

and the unfolding of what will be.

Let go rage

And blame and bias.

They got us here

And they will not deliver us.

Relinquish fear

And reactivity and ego.

They are the kindling

On which this fire burns.

Hang your head

And shed a tear

For what we’ve wrought,

All of us.

Shhh

Make no excuses

Or accusations,

Just stand quiet

And listen

To the silent wailing

That underlies all anger

And insistence.

Poor dears,


On Thanksgiving 2020, on the heels of a contentious election and in a climate of acute division and divisiveness, Americans have a choice to make which may determine the future of the Republic. While there has been some talk of reconciliation and reunification, there are still many who are stoking the flames of conflict. The choice that we must make at this point is between whether to proceed with gratitude or attitude.

“Attitude,” in its strict and proper definition, simply means a perspective or disposition. But in the colloquial sense of the term, it refers to a state of aggression…


Seth Rogen doesn’t owe you anything. Rogen is Jewish, but he never claimed to be a spokesman for the Jewish people. He is an actor and entertainer. Why do we expect celebrities to represent us or promote our beliefs or causes? They can be hired to do so, but as far as I know, no one is paying Rogen to be their spokesmodel, and no one is writing him a script to read for the cameras. He is entitled to his beliefs and opinions, and you are entitled to disagree with him.

One of the many things Rogen said about…


Recent current events reminded me of a beautiful story I heard years ago. A boy was shorter than his younger brother, and it bothered him greatly. One day, he shoved his brother into a shallow ditch, and then stood beside him and gloated that he was now taller. His father, Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch, approached with a stool. He helped his younger son out of the ditch, and then instructed the older boy to stand on the stool. Who is taller now, the father asked, to which his older son responded that he is taller once again. …


With all of its flaws and opportunities for improvement, what is great about America is the ideal, enshrined in its founding documents, that all of its citizens are free to believe and practice as they choose.

There are those who believe at this moment that America’s independence is not something to celebrate. They are highly attuned to the oppression that mars our history and the bias and inequity that continue to exist even now. They do not want to celebrate America until all of its citizens can do so with the same enthusiasm. …


I read an interesting line today from an author I respect, Jonathan Tobin: “Those who marched in the past for civil rights did so not because they felt that America was an irredeemably racist nation that needed to be completely rethought, but because they thought racism was a betrayal of the nation’s founding principles.” (https://bit.ly/2zXjzVI)

One of the essential questions at this moment of national reckoning seems to be this: is racism an inherent part of America, or a violation of the ideals that America is based on?

I believe it is the latter. That is not to say that…


Some Thoughts About Race Relations on My 25th Wedding Anniversary

25 years ago, I married the spectacular woman who I had been lucky enough to meet and fall in love with eight years earlier when we were in highschool. I have been blessed with her companionship and guidance, and with the beautiful family that we have worked together to raise.

This is not a love note to my wife. I will send her that privately. …


The world is not black and white. It is complex and puzzling. There are no easy answers. But sometimes, things are clear. It is clear at this moment that black Americans have suffered violence and bias in this country for far too long, and more must be done by all of us to support and defend them, to assure them that we will no longer tolerate racism in any form. We have waited too long, we have spoken up too infrequently, we have considered their suffering to be their problem and not ours. …


I found myself this morning rationing toilet paper squares. At the risk of offering “T.M.I” (too much information), I will assure you that I have not sacrificed cleanliness, but I have cut my usage in half. Same number of wipes, but fewer squares in each. I suppose I was overly indulgent with my TP in the past, and I have become more spartan and pragmatic. No extra at this point, but just enough to get the job done immaculately and economically.

It is not lost on me how truly absurd it is that I am sharing my private bathroom practices…


Many years ago, soon after we were married, my wife and I spent a few months in Israel in the mystical city of Tsfat. It was a time of deep learning and spiritual growth for us in the ancient city in the mountains whose stone walls are painted blue like the heavens. Before returning home, we met with a very wise and holy Rabbi to express our concerns about our ability to integrate our soaring souls and our worldly obligations back in the States. He taught us the following, in a voice not much louder than a whisper:

The Sages…

Marc Erlbaum

Marc Erlbaum is a filmmaker and social activist.

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