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A MESSAGE FROM RABBI JOSHUA CORBER

Rabbi Joshua Corber

Related imageOur hearts are hurting tonight, ending Shabbat to the news that while we were praying this morning in shul, eleven of our brothers and sisters were murdered praying in a synagogue in the United States. This unspeakable act of hatred and violence has not only destroyed eleven innocent people; it has destroyed the lives of those who knew and loved them and it has sent shock waves of sadness and horror throughout the Jewish world. The words from the shooter’s social media feed: “All Jews Must Die” send shivers up my spine. We are familiar with this pattern: a down-trodden, destitute, poorly educated population rising up against a perceived oppressor, and above that oppressor sits a Jew. The Cossacks said it, the Nazis said it, and now our fellow North Americans—some of them—are saying it. It is becoming ever apparent that the world is losing its mind. For a person to become so full of hate and ignorance that they would end the lives of fellow human beings, this is a crime against humanity. 

My friends, do not be afraid and do not despair. Do not internalize anti-Semitism. Know that those who hate us are wrong about us—we are not an evil threat to the world. On the contrary our commitment to equality, fairness, knowledge and education are exactly what those who hate us are most afraid of. Know too, that they will never wipe us out; our love of life is too strong. Through centuries of darkness and persecution, we persisted in our pursuit of Torah, truth, and the Oneness of G-d with all beings. It is this pursuit to which so many of our fellow brothers and sisters gave their lives. It is this pursuit to which we rise each day, in every generation, in every age, to carry out the mission of Abraham to unite humanity universal love and service of G-d. Armies of hate rise and fall, but our people will outlive all of them.

יודע ה’ ימי תמימים G-d knows the days of the pure ones.—Psalm 37. G-d has received eleven martyrs in Heaven today. May their souls be elevated and may their righteousness be for a blessing. May
G-d’s love and healing light shine into the hearts of the friends and families of the victims, and heal the wounds of those injured in the attack. May it shine into the hearts and minds of the American people, and may all human beings awaken to the reality that we are all made in G-d’s image.

 

Sun, September 15 2019 15 Elul 5779