Returning to your roots

Dylan Webb is a teaching English as a second language major. Contact him at [email protected]

Dylan Webb

As the political debate rages on, we notice a common outlook stemming from each side of the political spectrum: America has become a sort of political Armageddon.

With many people crying that this is about choosing the lesser of two evils, major issues including the environmental crisis, police brutality and student debt loom overhead.

Yet, these issues are swept under the rug for Trump’s middle school rhetoric and stories of Clinton’s corruption and failing health. Under two uniquely polarizing nominees, it’s easy to feel completely helpless to a system gone mad.

In regards to the overwhelming world we’ve been handed this election cycle, it’s ever-important to emphasize the importance of our roots.

When I landed in Israel last summer, I felt truly welcomed. There was a safe, divine presence that I longed for. Put simply, I was a part of something far removed from the political bickering I had become accustomed to at home.

My first Shabbat, a day of rest for which everything was closed, I had no food. I feared I would have to fast before the festival Shavuot.

While wandering the neighborhood I was invited in for meals by members of the community. I received shaloms and warm wishes for the upcoming holiday, as well as food, blessings and shots. It felt like for once I was really part of a vibrant community, a place where I was blindly welcomed.

For years I lived in a dazed, spiritual journey, ignoring the politics and cultural system that I had given up hope on. Yet I never gave up on something higher: God.

In my religious pilgrimages, I found myself involved in traditions that weren’t mine. Yet, once I delved into authentic Judaism, my heritage clicked. I found righteous traditions, fulfilling wisdom and a supportive community that differed from what I grew used to in the United States. What I learned in the first week was profound.

As the presidential debate rages and we feel increasingly more estranged from our neighbors, I found sanctuary in the safest place: my roots.

Dylan Webb is a columnist, contact him at [email protected]