Irwin Kula is the co-founder and co-executive editor of The Wisdom Daily. A rabbi, Irwin’s writing has been featured in The Huffington Post and the Washington Post. He is the author of Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life and a co-editor of The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices. Irwin has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The O’Reilly Factor and PBS Frontline. Irwin also serves as President Emeritus of Clal, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a leadership training institute, think tank and resource center in New York City.
This past week’s major story of the FBI searching the past president’s home has been gnawing at me – evoking a wide range of emotions I don’t want to feel. I want to be clear, I have no problem with the FBI searching Mar-A -Lago, and hope that somehow between the FBI, the NY Attorney General Letitia James, Merrick Garland, and the Jan. 6th commission, Trump goes to jail humiliated in ways that I can’t imagine. But as I listen to the insanity of Fox News, Rubio, Graham, McCarthy, Greene, etc. accusing the FBI of everything from ransacking to planting information, I can’t help but think how I/my parents/We felt about the FBI in 1971 when we heard the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI burglarized an FBI office and stole documents that revealed a secret FBI operation called COINTELPRO that involved less than legal/ethical activities aimed at destroying MLK among others. Life sure is unpredictable in its twists and turns as forty years later, I root for the FBI to utterly destroy a public figure.
Yes, of course, there is a profound radical difference –Merrick Garland – a paragon of caution and integrity – is no Edgar Hoover – an embodiment of paranoia. abuse of power, and corruption. And MLK is no – I can’t even write his name.
I am not making a factual or legal, or moral comment here but a psycho-political or psycho-social comment. I don’t agree in any way, shape, or form with those defending Trump, yet alone demonizing the FBI. But I can feel a faint hint, taste, and memory of that feeling of suspicion of powerful institutions that lack the transparency that “they” feel today and that is making “them” apoplectic. I am not justifying “them” in any way. They are destroying our country in the belief they are saving it. But then I also know from a “mystical” or systems perspective there is no “them” without an “us.” However, more evolved “we” may be than “they” are, WE co-create this reality. When trust breaks down in a society, everyone sees the other as “not me” in any way. But in some way, however partial and infinitesimal, in a hidden crevice of our unconscious, the “not me” is “me” — and unrealized, it metastasizes.
The FBI was the enemy, and now it is a potential savior. Turn it over and turn it over as there is always more to learn.