As I write this article, we are only a few moments away from the first Shabbat after the terrible tragedy at Tree of Life Synagogue. We are scared, devastated, and numb. We are trying to reach a place of hope and resilience, and one of the ways we will accomplish this is to come together as a community and support each other this Shabbat and each Shabbat.
I have received many messages and calls from our neighbors, sending support and love and willingness to help. It has been very healing to feel their compassion. I expect to be meeting some of them in the days and weeks to come and am looking forward to creating new bonds.
The shootings in Pittsburgh were meant to shake our identity and to scare us into a surrendering of faith. But, clearly, the shooter didn’t understand the make-up of a Jew.
What is our make-up? Here’s what we look like and what we do. We light candles on Shabbat and bless our children. We go to services to ensure a minyan for those who need to say Kaddish. We blow the shofar, build a sukkah, light the Chanukah candles, feel a deep connection to Israel, and find ways to heal the brokenness of the world through tikun olam. We pray for peace and hope for change.
Our voices join together. God sees us singing and praying, and living with resilience, survival, light, and love. That is who we are. Chazak chazak, v’nitchazek. Be strong and we will be strengthened.
L’hitra’ot, until next time!