As the shock of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory sunk in, rabbis across the country took to social media to share their reactions and address their congregants. Many rabbis encouraged unity and tolerance, and called on Jews to build bridges with their fellow citizens.
Some were dismayed by the results of the election, such as Rabbi Debbie Zecher, rabbi emerita at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Executive Director of T’ruah, wrote that the human rights rabbinic group was “terrified” by Trump’s “hateful rhetoric.”
“While T’ruah does not endorse candidates, we have been terrified by the hateful rhetoric espoused by the campaign of the President-elect, and by the rejection of the basic human rights protections, democratic ideas, and valuing of diversity that makes the United States strong. The wave of increased hate speech and even hate crimes alarms us, as a people whose history teaches the danger of scapegoating minorities,” Jacobs said in a statement.
Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, President and Dean of Valley Beit Midrash in Phoenix, Arizona, wrote a message of hope, saying “love will always win in the long run.”
Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, who has written about Judaism and feminism, cited her past experience growing up with progressive activism in a tweet saying there would be “resistance” with Trump in the White House.
Many urged reaching out to marginalized groups and embracing the values of tolerance and understanding. Rabbi Douglas Heifetz of Oseh Shalom in Laurel, Maryland; Rabbi Mark Winer, president of the interfaith group FAITH, and Rabbi Leora Kaye, director of programs at the Union for Reform Judaism, shared these sentiments on Facebook.
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Shalom in Washington, D.C., penned a prayer asking for safety and tolerance.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the author of such books as “Kosher Sex” and “Kosher Adultery,” condemned President Barack Obama’s policies and lauded Trump’s “unimaginable toughness.”
“Trump now has the opportunity to be magnanimous in victory,” Boteach wrote later in his post. “To reach out to his foes and unite the country. He can show a generosity of spirit that will surprise his most ardent foes.”