I spend a lot of time as a Jew in interfaith settings: Christian churches, multi-faith iftars for Ramadan, lately a Sikh gurdwara. I am convinced that people of good will can work together to understand each other and build a better society.
So what do I do when I hear bad news? The Los Angeles Times reported how a jury in Santa Monica determined on Wednesday 8/15/12 that the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica and its owner discriminated against the Friends of the Israel Defense Force, putting the kabosh on their fundraiser two years ago.
I do a little denial, thinking, "Santa Monica?" I do a little bargaining, wondering about the he-said-she-said; either the paperwork was in and the hotel knew about it or not. I experience a fair amount of anger and depression at a macro level - reading headlines of crimes big and small - and on a micro level - reading online comments on articles, which are variously smug, angry, and misspelled.
Then on a good day, I move towards acceptance. I'm grateful to live in a society that has something like California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, a law that bars hotels and other businesses from discriminating in their dealings on the basis of sex, race, religion or a number of other traits or conditions. I'm grateful to live in a city where I can participate in NewGround [http://www.muslimjewishnewground.org/]
The Jewish liturgy tells us that God "loves righteousness and justice," but the Torah is clear that it is up to us to make justice, righteousness, and freedom happen. As I said, I am convinced that people of good will can work together to understand each other and build a better society.