This week’s parashah is Vaera (“And Appeared”), the 14th parashah overall, and second portion of Shemot/Exodus. The first of the plagues hits Egypt, and whether they originated from the explosion of Thira/Santorini, or from some other source, the ensuing catastrophe is the start of a crisis for Egypt and for the enslaved Hebrews. Last year, we we had No Words for this disaster but words of rebuke for the rejoicing angels, while the year before, we asked about how Moshe/Moses, analogously to Holmes, looked at Aaron as Watson, via Moshe’s humility (or act of humility, in accepting his brother to speak for him).
Now, we wonder whether humility, and acknowledgment of one’s less strong spots, can help to build bridges, and pave the way to repair the wrongs done in the past. Acknowledging the failings of our public health system in the United States would be a worthy start, a humble start, to repairing those gaps through which many people are allowed to fall, in this country. That start needs to happen soon, to stop the waste of human potential for solving the urgent problems confronting our world now.
Last week was the start of the book of Names/Exodus: Parashat Shemot 5783, Generational Trauma and Public Health Care .
While there are many ways to help increasing empathy, Language Learning as a Fourth Tool for Empathy Building is both fascinating and practical.
Empathy building is a crucial task, particularly in our contentious society today. The task is tiring, and cannot be done all at once, but with careful planning, education, and greater cooperation between the generations, it can be done.
We can really Do Better, and Project Do Better proposes a long term plan.
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