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Rabbi Message: January 3, 2018

Everywhere and always, there is conflict and there is choice. This is the nature of the world we live in. We Jews call this heaven and earth, the Tree of Good and Evil, day and night; it is baked into the very fabric of creation.

Here's a surpsiring idea: Conflict is not bad. Conflict is ubiquitous. It is necessary for growth. Violence, of course is another story. But conflict, within us or between us, let us embrace it.

Conflict creates the need for clarification, and therefore, wisdom.

Conflict gives rise to dissatsifaction, and therefore growth.

Conflict alerts us to the need for communication, and therefore wider understanding and truer connection.

I offer this Big Idea and the poem below as food for thought.

Though There Are Torturers by Michael Coady

Though there are torturers in the world
There are also musicians.
Though, at this moment,
Men are screaming in prisons,
There are jazzmen raising storms
Of sensuous celebration,
And orchestras releasing
Glories of the Spirit.

Though the image of God
Is everywhere defiled,
A man in West Clare
Is playing the concertina,
The Sistine Choir is levitating
Under the dome of St. Peter?s,
And a drunk man on the road
Is singing, for no reason.