Melting ICE

The United States remains one of only a handful of countries to retain the Fahrenheit temperature system and therefore, we are aware that ice begins to melt as it reaches and moves beyond 32 degrees.  How Daniel Fahrenheit’s system places water’s freezing (and melting) temperature at 32 degrees is a complicated story. The number 32, in numerology (gematriya), is the value of the Hebrew word Lev—the heart. The value of the warmth that melts away barriers and let’s caring, concern and compassion flow.

My 7 year-old daughter this past week came to a revelation—she saw a pattern in some of the Disney movies she watches. She called her insight “replacement” as in when one person (character) in the story offers to “replace”—switch places with another. There is the scene in the film Hercules where the Greek god offers Hades, the Lord of the Underworld to switch places with his love interest (Meg), “You like deals, take me in her place,”  he says. And in Beauty and the Beast, the heroine Belle offers the beast to stay his prisoner in order to free her father. We began to see this theme in many other (Disney) films—she is too young yet to have read the culminating immortal words of Sidney Carlton in The Tale of Two Cities; “It is a far, far better thing I do today, then I have ever done.”

The seventh principle of awareness, linked to the Sefirah energy of Chesed—unbounded love, guides us to expand our circle of concern, melt away the differences that separate and wall off emotions that we might otherwise feel towards others and moves us to take action.

There have been many ordinary citizens who have offered refuge to immigrants who fear ICE deportation, there are many religious organizations that have set up areas of refuge. Those on the front lines see their efforts as an updated “underground railroad” and as one man interviewed off camera , who has set up a room in his house for immigrants, stated simply: “This isn’t a moment to stand idly by.”


There have been those throughout history who have adopted a “replacement” moral stance—risking their lives or giving up their lives to save others, even strangers. Who at this point can still turn a deaf ear to the wailing cries of children and their parents separated from each other?

If you want to donate to help those immigrants needing assistance follow this link:


Comments 4

  1. I love it! Thanks for sharing! I have had a conversation recently about how I perceive the majority of the entrepreneurs in our “free” country are immigrants. These business minded individuals come here with a dream to do better, be better, and in my eyes they are better. They strive for growth, for change, and they don’t follow the herd. By stepping out and showing their individualism they show less ignorance and aren’t dull of arrogance like us privileged Americans. I hope this situation improves for them because I welcome them to our county, for they helped us build it.

  2. Trump lauds ICE at White house event-An ICE white house,indeed, not a place for the newcomer, settler,migrant and outsider. I am a naturalized citizen, who has de iced the streets and hearts of on lookers, as we shout out our voices and beliefs that “every soul matters in our democracy”…as we protest and show up…to make sure we are counted and heard…to not be frozen nor let our democracy become trapped in a perpetual winter of our discontent. Subzero,is when it gets dangerously cold, and we are headed there as a nation.

  3. The last surviving member of the Nuremberg trials prosecuting team has said Donald Trump committed ‘a crime against humanity’ with the recent family separation policy.
    Ben Ferencz, 99, made the comment during a recent interview with outgoing United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
    The lawyer said it was ‘painful’ when he heard about how the Trump administration had separated more than 2,000 children from their families after they had crossed the US-Mexico border.

  4. The U.S. Immigration Crisis
    by Miguel A. de la Torre
    3.67 · Rating details · 6 Ratings · 1 Review
    The current immigration crisis on our southern borders is usually debated from a safe distance. Politicians create a fear of the migrant to garner votes, while academicians pontificate on the topic from the comfort of cushy armchairs. What would happen if instead the issue were explored with one’s feet on the ground–what the author calls an “ethics of place”?

    As an organic intellectual, De La Torre writes while physically standing in solidarity with migrants who are crossing borders and the humanitarian organizations that accompany them in their journey. He painstakingly captures their stories, testimonies, and actions, which become the foundation for theological and ethical analysis. From this vantage point, the book constructs a liberative ethics based on what those disenfranchised by our current immigration policies are saying and doing in the hopes of not just raising consciousness, but also crafting possibilities for participatory praxis.

    “Miguel’s introduction on an ethics of place will surely set academia’s hair on fire. He then eloquently practices what he preaches by inviting the reader into all those places where migrants are suffering–and dying–and struggling for liberation. When anyone asks me about ‘the problem of immigration’ now, I will hand them this compelling book. Be Presente!” — John Fife, Co-founder of the Sanctuary Movement

    “Hard-hitting and challenging, The U.S. Immigration Crisis exposes the dark side of current immigration realities. De La Torre puts a human face on biting policy critique by taking his readers to several conflictive places so that they might see the injustices and hear the undocumented tell their tragic stories. This is no neutral analysis, but rather an impassioned effort to redefine the national debate.” — M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas), Blanchard Chair in Old Testament at Wheaton College

    “Through the orthopraxis of joining immigrants on their journey in an attempt to understand the rightful faith response to the immigration crisis in the US, De La Torre unpacks history and gives witness to the fact that the immigration from the South into the US should not surprise anyone. Sharing the stories of immigrants he challenges our US arrogance, ignorance, and our collective sinfulness and calls for reparations. De La Torre clearly states what many of us have experienced and come to know over decades of working for US immigration reform, giving us hope.” –Minerva Carcano, Bishop, Los Angeles Area Office, The United Methodist Church

    “As it looks at migration from the ground floor, this richly descriptive work not only gives us more information about migration but a new imagination, one rooted in the dignity of each person and the call to human solidarity.” –Daniel G. Groody, University of Notre Dame Miguel A.

    De La Torre has authored numerous articles and more than thirty books, including the award-winning Reading the Bible from the Margins (2002); Santeria: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America (2004); Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins (2014); and Hispanic American Religious Cultures (2009). He presently serves as Professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies at Iliff School of Theology in Denver. He was the 2012 President of the Society of Christian Ethics. (less)

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