Seen the Sunrise?

By Richard McKusic, Sr. | Dec 02, 2017
More awesome than the sunrise.

If you have not seen the sunrise on the new Rockland harbor webcam you don't know what you are missing .


Even more awesome is Muslims, Jewish and Christians embraced in one hug of tolerance and kindness. 

On Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014  the Midcoast Interfaith Alliance  held an ecumenical Thanksgiving service at the Congregational Church in Camden. Adas Yoshuron was invited to participate, and board member Richard Aroneau spoke on behalf of the Jewish community. Here are his words:

In the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Shalom. Shalom! Peace. Peace! To the near and the far.” I’m Richard Aroneau, and I am greatly honored to be here representing the Jewish community of Adas Yoshuron Synagogue, in this, our 102nd year in Rockland.
I’ve thought a lot about what we Americans, in all our great and beautiful diversity, hold in common on Thanksgiving Day. What common bond did the Pilgrims have with the Catholics who sought refuge in Maryland, or the Protestant Walloons in Breukelen, or the tens of thousands of Africans chained in slave ships and brought here against their own will, or my own ancestors, Jews exiled from Spain in 1492, to land 400 years later, not on Plymouth Rock, but on Ellis Island.

The Pilgrims were seeking the freedom to practice their own faith in their own way, but over the course of time, their descendants joined with the planters of Virginia and the deists of Philadelphia to declare that “all men are created equal” according to the immutable laws of “Nature’s God.”

What was revolutionary about the American rebellion wasn’t that a group of slave-owning gentry severed their ties to a tyrannical king. What was revolutionary was that, in severing those ties, they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the altogether new and radical principle that all power derives from the people.
American history, our history, is the story of liberty becoming conscious of itself. And in becoming conscious, over time, we ended slavery, and enfranchised women, and set ourselves, however imperfectly, against every form of discrimination and tyranny. We became the first nation on earth in which each of us is free to seek God in our own way, with our own voice, in our own faith tradition. And we are equally free not to seek God at all.

The Pilgrims may not have anticipated any of this; they might be shocked to know what they launched when they fled the persecutions and prejudices of the old world. But without them, we might never have become what we are, here, today — One Nation, under God, celebrating our diversity, our unity, and the blessings of liberty and justice for all. And for that, may we be truly grateful.

Their tolerance did not necessarily extend to others. And yet, I’d like to leave you with a short prayer, part of the grace after meals with which my family and I will conclude our Thanksgiving dinner. It’s in Hebrew and Ladino, the medieval Castilian that the Spanish Jews took with them into exile: 

Ya comimos y bevimos, y al Dio santo Barukh Hu u-Barukh Shemo bendishimos; que mos dio y mos dara pan para comer y panyos para vestir, y anyos para bivir…El Dio mos oiga y mos aresponda y mos apiade por su nombre el grande, que somos almicas sin pecado. Hodu L’Adonai ki tov, ki le-olam hasdo. Hodu L’Adonai ki tov ki le-olam hasdo. Siempre major, nunca peor, nunca mos manke la meza del Criador. Umevorach, mevorach. Amen.

We have eaten and drunk, and we bless the Holy One blessed be God and God’s holy name; Who has given us and gives us bread to eat, and clothes to wear, and years to live…May God hear us, and answer us, and have pity on us for the sake of His great name; for we are little souls without sin. Praise God, for God is good, for God’s kindness is everlasting. May things always be better, never worse. May our Creator’s table never be lacking for us. May the One who is Blessed, bless us all. Amen.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 03, 2017 23:28

Richard: Is you life based on being white/straight/American/man of faith. How shall we treat all the rest of the world? I would be willing to bet that you actually have a lot of privileges that every person of this entire world has. Perhaps the sake that we breath air, drink water, enjoy daylight vs darkness, see the moon, stars, contrails, trees, snow, rain, and all the rest of the wonders of the world we all share, and we all deserve. I suggest you are always friendly but please extent that to all no matter whether they are gay, straight, black, white, red, green, tall, short, good looking, not so good looking, heavy set, skinny, rich, poor, America, Russian, Japanese, Cuban, atheist, Jewish, Catholic, rich, poor, because my friend we all all under one roof, we all need to keep warm when necessary, we all need to eat, we all need some money, unfortunately we can not all be sober, we can not all obey all the laws of the lands, we can not all have good health, but we can take one day at a time, do the best we can and respect those that respect us and forgive the rest. Just a friendly thought for you my friend.

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Dec 03, 2017 06:10

I am having a good day.

But, I have a roof over my head, heat to keep me warm, food to keep me full, money in my pocket, am sober, have reasonably good health, have the privileges of a white/straight/American/ man of faith.

A kind word, a smile cost nothing yet will yield tons of benefits. May my persona always be friendly.

If you wish to comment, please login.