Rabbi Irwin Kula’s April 30th blog post in The Huffington Post is a thought-provoking discussion on the rate of social change. It inspired me to consider how different things were in this country just a short time ago. I am aghast at how recently my fellow Americans enslaved other humans, at how fiercely plantation owners fought to hold onto their rightful living, breathing property. I am angry that respected leaders and thinkers fought against equal rights for anyone who was not a white male property-holder. I am horrified that, less than 70 years ago, FDR authorized the internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans for no other reason than their national heritage. I am ashamed that some states banned interracial marriage until 1967 when the Supreme Court finally ruled anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional.

Appalling as they may be, these practices (and many others) are a part of our nation’s history. They represent brutalities and inequities, violations of the very principles our country stands for. Recalling these events conjures great sadness, but one from which I can also cultivate hope. I experience a moment of grace at the realization that, despite overwhelming inertia, change is possible. Not only is it possible, it is inevitable.

The rate of change, from a human perspective, is often dissatisfying. It feels impossibly slow, even imperceptible. Now, as I intellectually wrestle with my lack of tolerance for intolerance, my frustration that some of my friends cannot marry the people they love, the paradox of hunger in a world of plenty, I find some comfort in Rabbi Kula’s reminder. Change is slow. We can’t all be ready at the same time. But change is here—it always has been and always will be. We, as individuals, bear some influence on its shape and direction, but we don’t have much power over its pace. In the meantime, I maintain faith in my hopes for change because I cannot imagine living in a world that is so devastating yet so beautiful without it.

Click on the following link to read Rabbi Kula’s piece in April 30, 2010 edition of The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-irwin-kula/leviticus-loses-the-inevi_b_557976.html

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