There were millions… estimated somewhere between 2 and 4 million. They were shivering in cold that was -6 degrees F with the wind chill, but no one seemed to feel it. Instead, they were warmed by the events that were unfolding before them, and the excitement of anticipation. Their faces were bright with joy, hope and a sense of wonder at what was sure to be one of the most memorable moments in American history–the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th president of the United States.
In this huge crowd, one could see the cohesiveness, a sense of connection and a shared joy amongst all the individuals. Seeing them huddled together for protection from the wind, clinging to each other as the movement of the crowd buffeted them from one place to another also led to another realization; they were joined together in something greater, something transcending the physical. What was sensed in this crowd was a tiny seed of unity and connection. It was palpable, felt even through the computer screen, and was watched by millions all over the world. Obama’s election planted this seed of unity, and people began to sense the need of it, the hunger for it and the joy of it. This event, this historic day began to water this seed to its germination point. How then is this seed to be nurtured so that it will continue its growth and reach its beautiful fruition?
Much rides on the shoulders of this man as he assumes office in the midst of another historic event–the global crisis affecting all nations in all areas. How will he meet these challenges, and will he come to the understanding that is necessary for him to truly be effective in helping to unite the world and find true resolution of this crisis? Will he be able to nurture the unity and connection that was present at his inauguration? What can be done to ensure that this man of power receives the wisdom he needs to be a force of global unity? President Obama spoke of unity and peace in his inauguration speech. At one point he stated that it was time to “choose unity of purpose over conflict and discord,” and “to those who claim to power through corruption and deceit, and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but we will extend a hand, if you are willing to unclench your fist.”
Now is the time for the world to find the answers that are contained within the wisdom of Kabbalah. This ancient teaching provides the roadmap to turn President Obama’s vision of unity into reality. In all humanity, there is a necessity, an absolute critical need of this wisdom, but the need is greatest in men of power, such as America’s new president. The momentum built with today’s inauguration must not be allowed to slow down or stop. We must, within the deepest part of our being, take individual responsibility to power this momentum with our desire and intention for global unity in order to develop the small seed awakened today. We must use all possible means of communication to teach people how to live in our new globalized conditions. We must show people that we can all benefit if we take everyone else into consideration. Our time must not be wasted in pursuits that foster division and isolation; it must be filled with activities that will help us learn how to live in harmony with each other. Most importantly, we must learn what it means to love.
During today’s ceremony, Elizabeth Alexander delivered an original inaugural poem entitled “Praise Song for the Day.” Her voice rang across the Washington mall, as she read in part:
Some live by “Love thy neighbor as thyself,”
Others by “First do no harm,” or “Take no more than you need.”
What if the mightiest word is love?
Love beyond marital, filial, national.
Love that casts a widening pool of light.
Love with no need to preempt grievance.
In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
Anything can be made, any sentence begun
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp
Praise song for walking forward in that light.
We must now accept the challenge of making love the mightiest word and to walk forward in that light. To wake up and provide the force, the desire and the intention to bring these words of the great Kabbalist Baal HaSulam to reality:
“When mankind attains its goal, meaning ascends to the degree of complete love for the fellow man, when all the people in the world will unite in a single heart – only then will all the happiness intended for humanity be revealed in all its glory.”