Interdependence Day


This weekend is the holiday that celebrates the founding of the United States, with July 4th falling on Shabbat.  While the American national mythology vaunts independence–the independence of the US from Britain, as well as the right of each citizen to act independently of each other–Jewish traditions point us instead toward interdependence, focusing on the obligations we each have toward each other and asking us to acknowledge the ways in which we depend on each other and on a force beyond ourselves for our very lives.  At this fractured moment in the US, we need to bring the value of interdependence to bear on our relationships with each other if we are ever to have hope of mending the deep fissures that threaten to tear us apart.  This Shabbat and this holiday weekend, may we each individually and as a nation acknowledge how much we need each other, and may we recommit to honoring each other and the obligations that tie us together.