There are so many ways to practice creating joy in our lives. This weekend I was watching a CNN report of a group of Muslims who brought 1000 doughnuts to a Donald Trump rally. In the midst of people saying derogatory things to them, they came from a space of love and kept offering doughnuts, passing out over 300 to people who had seconds before shouted hateful words about them. A doughnut became the vehicle, which might have a longer lasting effect, then one may realize.
Hearing this story reminded me of a story by Rabbi Douglas Goldhamer and Melinda Stengel's about Ball Shem Tov, or the Besht on joy. They wrote, "Several Hasidim came to the Besht and said, 'Our opponents, the Sages of Brody, persecute us continually and accuse us, heaven forbid, of disobedience to the Law and irreverence toward the traditions of our forefathers. We can endure it no longer, and we must answer them.'
" 'Our adversaries,' replied the Besht, 'do this certainly out of pious zeal. They believe they are performing a good deed, and they take joy in oppressing us. Why should we seek to deprive them of their joy?' "
Perhaps this is what the Muslim doughnut delivery team was doing; supporting the Trump supporters in the joy, they were experiencing oppressing them. Rather than seek to deprive them of their joy, they bought a bit of additional sweetness to the experience. Rather than counterattack or dismiss them, they came with a healing, and in some respects healthier response. One that I hoped brought them their own joy.