In My Own Words - Various things by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

So much has been happening over the past month that it’s been difficult to decide which issues and events I should write about. Part of my dilemma is that my words should add something to the discussion, rather than just echoing what has already been said. What I decided to do is write some short thoughts on several issues/events in the hope I can contribute something new to the conversation.
Name calling
No one likes to be called a bad name. It’s rude and unkind. It also shouldn’t matter if the person being called a name has frequently done the same to other people.
I was disturbed recently by a new name people are using to refer to President Donald Trump. As anyone who regularly reads this column knows, I am not a fan of President Trump. He is one of the worst offenders when it comes to name calling. But that doesn’t mean we should stoop to his level. It was inappropriate when people referred to President Barack Obama by the name of an animal and it is now inappropriate to use a variation of that name for our current president. 
If you don’t know what name I’m referring to, good. I thought about comparing several of the names President Trump has been called, but thought better of it. We don’t like it when he compares people to animals, something that degrades the individuals’ humanity. It also demeans the speaker, even when we are doing the speaking. 
It is profoundly sad when a president of the United States faces impeachment. I am not echoing President Donald Trump’s normal use of the word “sad” in his tweets and I am not rejoicing in what has happened. What a sorry state for our country when our president confesses to using the influence of the United States government to help his political campaign, and doesn’t realize that doing so is wrong. 
What helped convince me that his actions were inappropriate was when our local Representative Anthony Brindisi, who originally did not support the move toward impeachment, read the evidence against President Trump and decided it warranted a vote in favor impeachment. My worry is that members of the Senate have already made up their minds about the issue without having read any of the relevant material. Justice should not be based on political party affiliation.
When both Democratic and Republican presidents (in this case, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama) decided that a targeted assassination was not in the best interests of our country, I question whether President Donald Trump’s decision to order a targeted assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani was correct. Was Soleimani seeking action against the U.S. as the government claims? I think that may be possible, although no evidence has been released that supports that. 
Our relationship with Iran has gone downhill since the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (commonly known as the Iran deal) and increased pressure against Iran. There is blame for the problem on both sides, and both sides seem to have hair-triggers when it comes to actions that are often not in the best interests of either side.
As I wrote this, the U.S. government and the leaders of Iran seemed to backing away from war. I can only hope and pray that this caution continues. The world is too small and our weapons too deadly for leaders to play a game of chicken with our lives.