Soon after shabbat ended, I received a text message that tipped me off to the hostage situation in Colleyville, TX.
As I read the news that Shabbat Shirah was spent in a hostage situation with rabbi, staff, and congregants, I was reminded of our text study during kabbalat shabbat where we lamented the Israelites' victory coming at the demise of the Egyptian army. I was reminded of Shabbat morning where the 4th & 5th graders joyously debated the difference between "charity" and tzedakah while relishing in their connection with the natural world.
In this Coast Salish Territory, we remember and work to undo historical and present-day colonialism and imperialism by reclaiming our ancestors' wildest dreams together. We will outlive them.
Shema Yisrael - hear this, fellow Jews: we are all connected and interdependent. Let us choose love. (Deuteronomy 6:4) Whole liberation and freedom cannot come at the expense of anyone. The midrash indeed tells us that the Israelites were admonished for dancing and singing while G-d's creation lay waste in the sea. (Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 10b and Sanhedrin 39b) We are powerful when we work together, protect one another, provide for the needs of one another. And celebrate one another.
We pray - no demand, organize, and stand firm - that this awful example of antisemitism not be used to further Islamophobic nor racist agendas and conspiring. Our voices and acts will be unwaveringly committed to the collective liberation that comes when "an abundance of love and truth meet, and justice and peace kiss." (Psalm 85:11)
We offer our love, our listening, our guardianship, and our companionship to all our fellow Jews, our rabbis and synagogue workers, and everyone who calls Jewish community a home. We ask all who pray and send wishes of wellness for us to unite in understanding how antisemitism, racism, Islamophobia, and colonialism are used duplicitously to divide and conquer. The time is [indeed] right, as the Rev. Dr. King said, to do what is right. (Oberlin 10/22/64)
We will carry on with regular programming with extra care and space, and invite you to join in through zoom or on site today and throughout the week where we can find one another and find the solace, comfort, and Jewish joy of being in community.
In wild companionship,