Although I am dumbfounded by the existence of Donald Trump – not because of his politics but because someone who seems to have such little respect for others could be deemed a potential leader of our country, I am also struck by the importance of his existence.

For as long as I’ve known my husband – over 23 years – he has told me that I don’t even know the half of racism. That the same people who shut their mouths in my presence will say the most racially degrading thing in front of him because he is a white man. Because they think he is part of their club.

Today, I think those people have decided to show their truth. And truth, even when it is abhorrently hateful is one of the most important tenants of our human condition. In fact I would rather know that the man in the grocery store check out line hates me because he thinks I am one of those terrorist Muslims or maybe because he thinks my immigrant family is responsible for stealing the jobs of true Americans or just simply because I’m too different, than to wonder why he silently stares at me with opaque eyes.

Growth sometimes comes out of darkness. The Renaissance period is a testament to such evolution. And so may be our current fate. Donald Trump has put a spotlight on the darkness in our country. He has given permission to intolerance and hate, and while permission can incite, it only elevates what already exists.

A friend of mine, Rachel Egherman, wrote the piece below this post on Trump. Her piece reminded me of my grandmother’s teachings – “The devil loves God the most. For only the devil is willing to go to the most God-less places in pitch-blackness simply to further humanity and help us recognize our own light.”

I truly believe that we learn from light and dark – good and bad. In the balance of the yin and yang, one is not better than the other. That’s not to say that good doesn’t feel better, it does – but in this state of duality, we experience them both to better understand ourselves, hoping to move towards expansion and enlightenment.

To that end, like Rachel, I too feel that Donald Trump stands to do some of the most difficult work we have, by outing the hate. While he may not be aware of this role, it could be our greatest gift yet. Hate comes from pain and as I endeavor to cultivate the deepest levels of compassion within myself, I am struck by the pain of both the haters and the hated – and where the lines become blurred.

So no matter what tomorrow’s election outcome, I stand on the precipice of greater forgiveness. Starting with my own intolerance and ending with the intolerance thrown at me. That is my greatest hope, no matter what.

By Rachel Egherman

This Yom Kippur I couldn’t help but to read the list of sins that I may or may not have committed and have my mind wander to the political news of the day. It was easy to read the sins of arrogance, greed, vulgarity, conceit, hatred and quickly draw up an image of Donald Trump in my mind. Heck, even his supporters will acknowledge this much. But, really, who amongst us is not guilty of one or more of these traits throughout our lives? Isn’t that the point?

The longer this campaign goes on it is clear to me that Trump is pathological and incapable of empathy or compassion. But, what about the rest of us? I’d like to propose that Trump may be one of the greatest spiritual teachers of our time. At a time when it seems that hate, violence, greed, injustice and destruction is rampant he is offering us a mirror. A chance to look at ourselves both individually and collectively and choose what is important to us. Do we choose love or hate? Do we choose unity or separation? Do we choose acceptance or fear?

Over the course of history there have been many great sages. I wonder if any of them were able to spark a discussion of the magnitude that Trump has caused. I believe that the majority of Americans are choosing love, acceptance, justice and unity. I believe that thousands are choosing that we want a culture that embraces the other. Some of us may wonder what took so many to speak up and reject the sins of arrogance, greed and vulgarity. But, honestly, i don’t care. I thank Trump for standing on his pedestal day after day until the majority of Americans decide that this is not for us. Don’t kid yourself, the path he has chosen is far lonelier and despairing than any of us could imagine. For the sins I have committed against you, myself and humanity I ask for your forgiveness. May all of us be sealed into the book of life and may this coming year be joyful and prosperous for us all.