On Shaky Ground

If I told you that I missed writing a Musing last week because I was under the weather, I would be telling the truth. But I wouldn’t be telling you the whole truth. Certainly, some of the fogginess in my mind came from the medication I was taking and was a result of my body working on healing, but in all honesty, much of it was coming from feeling emotionally ungrounded.

Every once in a while, a bigamist or a con-artist or even a mass-murderer is unmasked. He turns out to be the nice guy who everyone liked. His wife, his neighbors, his employer all had no idea that he was a monster. I don’t think that I’m the only one who feels unsteady when such news breaks and is hyped all over the media. Suddenly, I start looking at people I know and…wondering.  I start seeing fault lines in ground that I had always thought of as rock steady.

I feel that way now as I am coming to accept that Joe Biden will be sworn in as our next president. This certainly isn’t the first election where my preferred candidate lost. That is a normal fact of life when one lives in a free country. I didn’t vote for Bill Clinton or for Barack Obama. Yet, I understood their appeal and the limited appeal of their Republican opponents. I felt that an honest and fair election had taken place and even though  I worried about the repercussions, I accepted them.

This election is different. The unrestrained hatred of President Trump, the vitriolic dishonesty of the mainstream press, the suppression of information and the deliberate release of misinformation over the past four years has me looking at the incoming administration and…wondering.

Will I be forced to choose between my own religious, moral, patriotic, and ethical beliefs versus obedience to those running the government? I recently read a piece written by the daughter of two Soviet dissidents living in the now-extinct U.S.S.R. When her mother and father acted in opposition to the oppressive government, they did not know that they would prevail. That is always the pattern in a fight against wrong.

We are in the final day of the holiday of Chanukah where we speak daily of God’s allowing the weak to prevail against the strong, the righteous to triumph over the wicked. When the Maccabees fought, they did not know of their eventual (and sadly, temporary, triumph). Neither did the Union soldiers fighting against the Confederacy during the American Civil War or the Allies fighting against the Nazis in World War II. What is important to remember, is that while the fight ultimately was against evil ideas put into practice, many of the people who ended up siding with those immoral causes were aligned on that side by fear, geography, ignorance, and a host of other reasons, not from an ideological agreement.

I do believe that Leftism is not just wrong, but evil and incompatible with the Constitution.  Identifying when Leftism starts dominating the Democrat Party rather than just being a force within it, will be an important moment in our nation’s history.  It is a moment that I pray we’ll never face, but that prayer is uttered while teetering on shaky ground.

What is more important than understanding first principles?
After years of being asked for a program like this…
Announcing: Scrolling through Scripture
an online course with Rabbi Daniel Lapin

76 thoughts on “On Shaky Ground”

  1. On this afternoon of January 6th, I definitely feel I’m on shaky ground. But it certainly is not because of Biden.

  2. An earlier comment on this post referred to ” mandated abortions of Down’s syndrome children in the Netherlands.”  It apparently referred to the government of that country.

    I searched online and could not find any indication that the Dutch government mandates abortion of Down’s syndrome children.  I did find references to some heated debate in the Netherlands about the costs to society of Down’s children, what those costs actually are, and whether or not parents have any responsibility to society to abort Down’s syndrome children.  But public debate, however distasteful it may be, is not the same as “mandated abortion.”  

    One of the biggest problems of 2020 is a collective inability to agree on what constitutes a fact or a reality.  If there is credible evidence that the Netherlands does mandate the abortion of Down’s syndrome children, I would really like to know about that evidence and would greatly appreciate the information. 

    If there is no such evidence and the “mandated abortion” is just a rumor, I hope the spreading of it will stop. The disagreements and misunderstandings between nations and cultures these days are large enough without rumors making them even larger.

  3. HI Susan,

    My experience is similar and think that we all, legitimately, can claim at such a time, at least ideally, to be ‘under the weather.’ This musing’s heading brought to my mind Jesus teaching of the house built upon the rock…The rain fell, the torrents raged, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because its foundation was built upon the rock. This illustration is offered in contrast to the foolish man who built his house upon sand, and the winds came… and great was its collapse!

    Common to all of us is that the rains, the torrents, will undoubtedly come, but uncommon are those that are deeply dug in with biblical teaching. This sentiment is reflected in Proverbs 1:32-33, ‘For the waywardness of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But whoever listens to me will dwell in safety, secure from the fear of evil.’

    Other than an abundantly extra amount of time to study scripture, the situation I found myself in the course of this current year allowed me to practice trading on the stock market and I think I may have found my talent as much as passion for investing. Even though I started out with very small beginnings, 300 in the red to be exact from a failed venture I had initiated and had since left dormant while I was in school, I was able to outperform the market by as much as almost 70 percent. Of course, the NASDAQ had a bit of a head start over me having returned a flourishing 78% in a three year time frame which, in my opinion, can be attributed to Trumponomics.

    At any rate, another lesson I’ve currently hidden in my heart, having the meaning of a dream that had puzzled me these past three years, is to not allow the (fear of the?) past nor the future to rob me of the present. Especially knowing the Lord Is with us, always, even in the storm, or the famine that we may well be facing soon (I only wish I’d started gathering up sooner ;p)

    God bless and keep you steady,

  4. Things will change if we all begin to vote for political candidates who possess wisdom (chochmah), binah (understanding) and knowledge (da’at). We know that the fear of God (Yirat Yahweh) Mishle (Proverbs) 1:7 and 9:10 is a prerequisite to possessing these spiritual leadership qualities. Policies and promises mean nothing without God. No politician knows the path of life and what will happen in the next four years. God is the only one who knows.

    Those who have enjoyed slander and perpetuated it in the last four years do not know the consequences of evil speaking (Lashon hara) but ignorance is not an excuse. Social media has destroyed many and only the wise (chacham) will reflect and avoid being dragged into sinking against God.

    Repentance is what is needed today.

  5. Hello Susan,
    Thank you for your Musings. My heart breaks for our nation, because I feel it is falling apart. We raised both our boys to be God loving and patriotic. Our oldest son, is 20, he is serving in the Wisconsin National Guard. He was so upset and still is about the lack of JUSTICE!!!
    Praying for our nation, and to hear God speak on how to continue to shine for Him.

    1. It’s hard to believe Maria was really subscribed, if it took this post for her to finally understand your political stance.

      God bless you for your courage and willingness to stand for what is right and true.

  6. Susan
    Great discussion. So many speaking out on this topic. I tried not to speak up but just had to put my two cents in. I really feel that many people do not understand the parallels between USA and Israel.
    Israel was destroyed for one reason every time; letting in people who would come up from the LEFT side and destroy the Jewish ways which was Gods ways. This is the one and only thing Satan and Baal have to do on their earth is to Kill, Still, and Destroy. The only way that can happen is if we the people allow it to happen. Once we allowed Satan the (LEFT) to remove God from our nation, God has no choice but to stand back and let us fall by our own actions.
    And yes someone mention that the RIGHT is at fault too. And yes you are 100% correct.
    The RIGHT has allowed and participated in all these actions just as much as the LEFT.
    This has been going on for over 50 years if not more.
    And yes the GOOD people who stay true to God will have to suffer these consequences that we all have allowed to happen. This is all in the history of Israel. And now ours.
    We Do Not seem to learn very well.
    We are in the end of times, be prepared don’t be left behind.
    Don’t mess this one up are you will have to deal with bad times. Good Luck.

  7. Susan. I completely agree with you. I just wish that all of our judges would follow 2 Chronicles 19:6-7, all of politicians would be mindful of Proverbs 6:16-19 and all those that say that global warming is caused by humans, would read Genesis 8:22.

  8. It is very concerning. Even if we have another 4 years of President Trump, there are serious cultural and character failings at a high level that aren’t going away any time soon.

    It is encouraging to see that many people do still express strong values despite recent events and maybe in part because of recent events causing them to re-evaluate their beliefs and whether their lives are congruent. May the righteousness prevail!

    And about the election…don’t lose hope yet. I know people who are still working behind the scenes. 🙂

    1. John, it does come down to individual citizens recognizing a wrong path and returning to the right one. I do see a lot of people re-evaluating beliefs, but the line in the sand has shifted so much. I love what Kristin said in a comment, that even talking of values where we used to talk of virtues lets us know how much work we have to do.

  9. susan e ballantyne

    bless you for speaking up, i am at a loss and feel so uncertain, but i will always continue to pray and believe this country will be ok bless all who care

  10. Dear Mrs. Lapin (and also Rabbi Lapin),

    I have a suggestion for the comment section. That is to have an “amen” button and counter. I often see some great points made and expressed so well that I have nothing to add but I would like to express an “amen” to the comment. I see many such comments just in the comments to this “musing”. I think the “amen” count is useful to the dialogue, as it suggests the count of others having similar feelings but do not want to take up space with a redundant comment.

  11. Vickie L Sanderson

    Thank you for your wisdom, Susan. I too keep thinking of those examples of weak prevailing against the strong as I have seen instance after instance of truth being thrown down. Of those examples in God’s word, I keep reminding myself that those true to God ignored the worlds chant, ignored the certainty of those around who said this is the new truth, and stayed true to their belief in God even if their own minds screamed out that it was madness. God is the stronger. Amen to that!

  12. Pres Trump “losing” was not as gut wrenching to me as the level of orchestrated crisis and fraud that caused him to “lose”. I use quotations because any rational person can see this election was stolen.
    The Deep dark authorities and powers during 2020 made me feel each day like an abused wife, not knowing what new torment would be invented.
    Now these powers that be expect us to put on our sunglasses over our black eyes and lock step. They got what they wanted, and their torments even relented for a honeymoon moment, but they are only emboldened.
    But God’s provision, grace, power, and joy has been deeper than I could know how to ask for, or deserve in 2020! One example is providing me with a Rebbetzin and Rabbi that have navigated me through the impossible challenges of this year with ancient Jewish wisdom.
    We will continue to be God’s trophy of His love and salvation together🙏.
    Praise to Our Lord forever!

    1. Kelly, thank you for your kind words. The abused wife starts her road to recovery when she realizes she is being abused.

  13. Susan, I agree with you and feel similarly about our current situation in this country. I am deeply concerned about the possibility of a Biden administration, but it hasn’t happened yet. As believers, we need to exercise our faith, and I would encourage you to fast and pray and not give up. If God parted the Red Sea, He can do anything. We fight in faith until we see it. If God so chooses to place Biden in authority, He also has His purposes for that…and His purposes for us are always good. Please don’t throw in the towel of resignation based on how things “appear.” God always wins…it’s just how and when.

    1. I agree with you, Deborah. I do know that God controls everything. However, that includes punishment and while I know good will triumph eventually, I am concerned about those I love—and a country I love— in the short term.

  14. You speak of stealing, corruption, evil, etc. ! In four years this country has been bought to naught. We are a joke to other nations! People are dying and losing everything they have. It is God who removeth kings and set up kings. Daniel 2:21 Maybe, God is waiting for us to become human being and not Democrats or Republicans. Since it’s about red and blue for you folks why was Republicans Party sealed with the color red in 2000? Do you really think it takes God all of this to make Donald Trump president again! Biden or Trump. It is God’s Will that shall be done in the earth. PLEASE! Could you / someone enlightened me as to what you all got from Donald Trump presidency? Some of you seem to know President Trump more than you know God! This I do know, there is, but one God and it is not Donald Trump!

    1. Deneen, Donald Trump’s election was actually a pushback against the Republican Party, as so many of his supporters are disillusioned Republicans. Red being chosen for the Republicans was a deliberate media decision by news outlets in 2000 out of fear of the color of Communism being linked to the Democrats. https://rabbidaniellapin.com/rowdy-red-or-benign-blue/
      What did I get from the Trump presidency? Here are a few of my gains: Economic growth, especially for minorities. Respect for the unborn. Respect for business and workers. The chance of more school choice so our children don’t graduate illiterate from public education. Amazing steps to co-existence in the Middle East. Respect for the military and our soldiers. Uncovering of a very deep swamp in D.C.
      I have criticized Donald Trump and never confused him with God. I do think he has been a gift to this country.

  15. We are certainly cut out of the same bolt of philosophy and world view cloth, Susan. At this point we no longer refer to virtue any long but we talk about values…huge difference. This country has nothing of virtue that unites us any longer. We’ve gone a bridge too far for conservative ideals to attract a majority of Americans…lawlessness runs amook, rules, guidelines, laws that can’t be broken are certainly bent with impunity. I’m listening for God’s whispers on how to pull myself together and find a way forward. It may be time to step aside and let our young democracy die like those that preceded us. We’ll be here to rebuild it again but meanwhile I do not intend to participate in the incoming tyranny. Hanukkah blessings.

    1. Kristin, I love your point about virtue vs. values. It aligns with something I realized this week when I read what I would consider a “clean” book. I think you may have spurred a Musing.

  16. I live in isolation. I thank you for sharing as I have been feeling ungrounded myself. people ask how G-d can allow this. I am scared to death to live at this time, it could get really bad. However, it seems to me that G-d usually has a plan, at least once you get past the certain period of time…. easier to see in 20-20 hindsight, so to speak. I am guessing this is one of those times, which I didn’t expect for another 50 years 9seems as if internet sped up the unravelling of the social fabric). I had hoped to miss it myself, but now it feels as if I am going to have to figure out how to be strong, how to follow G-d and how to keep going. That you and others are also grappling with this gives me some comfort that I am not imagining things, and strength to start getting ready if unspeakable things come our way. And trust G-d that once again a great and wonderful change will happen after what looks to be a horrible upcoming period of time.

    Thanks you for sharing. It helped.

    1. Leslie, ancient Jewish wisdom speaks of time speeding up as we get closer to the end of history as we know it. I agree that it helps to know others feel the same way.

  17. A gut-wrenching musing, and I identify. I am not American, but my Canadian daughter and her family live in New York, so I care deeply about everything that happens there. I lose sleep over what I read about Biden and the mainstream media and academia. When I cry to my husband, he says, It’s all mishagas! Try to remember that Hashem is in charge and everything is for the good. I feel better until I listen to another Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity Instagram. I never, ever dreamed something like the 2020 election could happen.

    1. New York (at least the city) is not a good place to be right now, Lynne. May your children stay safe.

    2. Rabbi Daniel Lapin

      Your husband is, of course, right, dear Lynne,
      But HaShem was also in charge that morning of September 29, 1939 when the long-time and vibrant Jewish community of Warsaw awoke to discover that murderous, Jew-hating Nazis were now in charge of their city. Many Jewish citizens were dead within a month or two. Of course God is in charge and clear that He has His plans. That doesn’t mean that meanwhile it won’t get very painful for us. Our own fathers knew that occasionally it was necessary not to spare the rod. Our Father in Heaven knows the same. My view is that had President Trump had a second term, bad times could have been postponed or maybe averted. Under the circumstances now, I am not so sure. And yes, He is in charge but although I must accept His verdict, I don’t have to like it.

  18. I too am feeling unsettled and shaken. I have been working in many ways and long hours. What I have realized since Nov 3rd is that I was working to save myself and my country from destruction. It never occurred to me that the victory I worked so hard for and believed was possible could be stolen so blatantly and successfully. I am being forced to confront the reality that I may indeed have the same moral choices to make that my grandparents had to make in WW II. I wanted to avoid another holocaust, not live through one. I am not giving up, but I am struggling with emotions of sadness, grief, depression, loss, anger, frustration, and dismay. Hashem told Joshua that he should be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for God would be with him wherever he went. Joshua then had to go out and fight. I wanted to win now so that we did not have to fight. My awakening is to the reality that no matter what happens, I will have to fight, if not now, then in four years.

  19. Homo Erectus became Homo Reclinus who then became Homo Declinus and now we are living in the time of Homo Defectus. Evil truly exists in the world. Sometimes it is obvious (Democrat/Marxist/Socialist) and sometimes it comes in disguise (of a RINO) Fight, fight, fight!


    1. I don’t think Democrats are evil, though I think their policies are increasingly so, Gordy. In general I prefer to judge policies rather than people, certainly ones I know nothing about. People have all sorts of misconceptions, motivations and reasons for how they act. The action are what matter. And people are rarely black and white.

      1. This is another “Ballad of Oh Boy” moment when one is caught between writing something that is short and yet-not-quite to the point or volumes (I type via the hunt-and-peck system and am too old to write the tome/s that by necessity it could become).
        In a practical sense people are what they do. There is no reliable and verifiable way to accurately ascertain what they may or not have been thinking. Most of us are somewhat gray (while hopefully striving toward the light and not the deep black of the truly evil.

  20. Dear Susan, Thank you for your heartfelt musing. I feel the same way and I have been depressed over this 2020 election. Our future with a Biden regime will be ungodly and full of evil characters. I know God is always in charge and has His eyes on our nation, sometimes we get the leaders what we deserve.

    1. Linda, many, many Americans had their eyes opened the past four years and we must stand firm so that more eyes are opened.

  21. I share your concern, Rebbetzin Susan. While the Democrats are becoming more audacious in their wickedness, at least half the problem is the Republicans. Moral failing and dereliction of duty especially in the state legislatures of the battleground states and at the U.S. Supreme Court. As Rabbi Mayer Schiller said at the your conference in 1997, the leaders of the Republican Party and conservative movement simply do not want to win. To them it’s more business than a moral crisis.

    1. James, I think that was true for many long-time Republican politicians but not for many Americans, which is why President Trump won. Both parties are facing a split, but I think the hatred and lying of the past four years woke up some establishment Republicans.

  22. Although the Jesus is the head of the church the word says ‘The government is on His shoulders we are his shoulders. We have not executed the whole word of God. We have allowed all these evils to come upon us. Satan has crept into the church and our society because we allowed it. But experience is the best teacher our churches and pastors are full of cowards CEO’s not pastors. You cannot serve God and Mammon. And that’s evident in many 501c3 run institutions. People want money not God. Paul worked a job he did’nt work to gain supporters to make him wealthy. He humbled himself. Where is that today?

  23. We are reeling, but as we have gotten our feet back underneath of us, we have been inspired by you and the Rabbi to have the mindset of “happy warriors.” Thank you for writing about the struggle so beautifully.

  24. You are not alone. I believe tens of millions share your concern. We, as a country, have always known our end would come from within. We were warned of it by our founders and even by our enemies, who knew they would not be able to defeat us themselves. As we have always known this, the question we struggle with is, “When do we do whatever it takes to save this nation?” We have seen from history how many have watched the destruction of the country they love until it was too late to stop it.

  25. The election was stolen from Donald Trump and his supporters.
    Systemic fraud, votes manipulated and taken from Trump’s totals and added to Biden, rigged software in the voting machines, corrupt Democratic Party officials in the swing states that changed the election laws unconstitutionally. All this is factually true.
    And court after court denied even hearing the evidence. The final stab in the back was the refusal of the Supreme Court to have the evidence presented.
    Yes, you are quite justified in feeling unsettled. The earth has shifted, the ground underneath our feet is unsteady, no recourse or solution from the rule of law when we are denied a hearing.
    Isaiah’s words describe it perfectly:

    “So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.”

    God have mercy on us.

  26. Maureen Rose Rawlins

    I, like you, fear that we are lambs being led to the slaughter. Why has God allowed this? Is he still in control? I don’t pretend to have the answer to the first question, but I do know the answer to the second. God is most assuredly in control. I do not know where we are headed, I pray that there will be intervention in the eleventh hour. But, it does not matter one way or another, God is in control and He knows where we are headed. It is our duty to align ourselves to his divine will. May God strengthen our faith and give us the courage to face what will be. It is time for sackcloth and ashes.

    1. That is much in line with my thinking, Maureen. Pray for mercy, repent for what we can, and face the future with courage and resilience.

      1. Lacey Hochleutner

        Agreed, I have heard several profices that it’s not over yet, Gods plan is for another 4 years of president Trump this term. I’m choosing to believe this to be true. I know that some will not understand my stance. But this nation was founded for God, God is bigger than the attack of the enemy on this nation.

        Plus, I love your responses Susan. Thank you for this post. Be of good cheer😊

          1. I have also felt that crying out for justice for our nation is not at hand — but I pray and beg and accept that we may not be given our wishes because the Lord knows what we must go through and I fear the suffering that may be ahead …. thank you for your candor, Susan, and I will think of you in my prayers

    2. It turns out the left tried to steal the election in 2016 but it did not work. This time I believe GOD allowed it so people like me can see how deep is the corruption. I knew there was corruption but I never imagined it was that deep!!! Yes GOD is in control. Either He will give us 4 more years of reprieve with Trump in office or the nation is heading for judgment. I like many others am waiting to find out what His final answer will be on January 6. Let GOD’s will be done.

      1. Vanessa, just as your eyes were opened, and thousands of others, I think what might happen under a Biden administration will open even more eyes. The question is if Americans have the courage and backbone (and I think we do) to stand firm.

  27. I wholeheartedly agree. I continue to pray and I believe my prayers are heard. But I also know that our nation has been drifting away from following God’s ways and commands. If we return to Him all is not lost, no matter who is in the White House. Let us continue to pray for our country.

  28. There is at least one prophecy that I’ve heard that states that Trump will serve a second term. It will be the prayers of the baby boomers who will help him win at the last minute. This is encouragement for us to keep on diligently praying for a victory for Trump and the Republicans in their elections; and for the evil of the Democrats, the deep state, and the medias to be exposed and stopped and for them to be held accountable for their evil deeds.

    1. Oh, Jan, I pray that this prophesy is true! After feeling helpless and hopeless that Biden will be taking over the presidency, I was recently reminded that God has a plan for us. That’s the one thing that has brought me some peace.

    1. I trust God too, but I also know that He does punish nations when they do not follow Him. I trust that in the large picture, all will be well. There can be quite a lot of suffering on the path, however.

  29. I enjoyed your teaching on tct and especially the insights of your wife but as I was on your website I’ve changed my mind about you due to your political views in support of trump…really. Socialism really! Jesus had strong views about the poor and disenfranchised. It’s called compassion. I can not support you.

    1. Karen, we have deep feelings about the poor and disenfranchised and great compassion. Our experience is that Democratic policies, and certainly Leftist ones, lead to more poverty and more disenfranchisement. We understand that others feel differently. Knowing the emotional reasons that good people support those policies, even if we feel the evidence points in the opposite direction, is why we still see hope for this country.

      1. SO agreed! It feels good to give others a handout, but it doesn’t feel so good to the recipient. True tzedakah doesn’t mean giving handouts; this only perpetuates the cycle of poverty and disenfranchisement. It means teaching a better way of living, helping them to rehabilitate, and helping to educate so they have a means of earning a living as a way out of poverty. Educating and empowering…this enables the recipient to maintain their dignity…that is the true path of compassion. The trick here is that we have to have a free land where opportunities abound to enable ALL those who desire to better themselves to be able to do so with dignity!

    2. Jesus wasn’t a liar and a cheater who oppressed the people with fake news to try snd conttol them for the sake of greed or hungry for power these cheating lying traitors ate the opposite Jedus Chridt died for us to have. Truth freedom and genuine love not manipulation. God hates liars and oppression.

      1. Sadly, I don’t know which political party or politician you are referring to. I have see fake news and efforts to control for greed an power all parties.

    3. I’m so thankful that our spiritual leaders (such as yourself) are standing up for freedom and against the social repression, governmental servitude and basically slavery that is socialism. There are many socialist countries that bribe and fund propaganda in their faith organizations. Thank you for teaching us what socialism really is. Thank you for leading us into the truth. When everyone gets paid $25,000 a year, $25,000 will be a worthless amount of money because it would be meaningless. Small businesses could not hire employees because they would not be able to compete with the amount of money people would be getting free. “Money is a symbol of the service we do for God’s other children” or, it is worthless. Thank you for teaching us our worth as God’s children AND the true value of our work/worship!!!

    4. Carmine Pescatore

      Jesus asked his followers to help the poor directly, not for them to ask for help from the Temple or the Roman authorities.

      1. Yes that’s exactly right — because the government assigned with soley helping the poor doesn’t change hearts and makes lazy ungrateful ppl 👍

    5. There’s a vast difference between compassion and legalized theft. When the government appropriates your earnings, your savings, and your property and – allegedly – redistributes it to those they deem “poor”, that’s legalized theft (if you look at the actual statistics, government “administration” takes 85% of monies allocated to social programs, and leaves the recipients with 15%.) When you, out of the kindness of your heart, see a need and fill that need with a blessing, that’s compassion. There isn’t one socialist / communist country on earth that demonstrates compassion – otherwise, those mandated abortions of Down’s syndrome children in the Netherlands wouldn’t take place. And that’s just one example – any reading of current policies or past history will provide many others.

Comments are closed.

Shopping Cart