Yisroel Goldstein, the rabbi of Chabad of Poway, offered courageous and uplifting words in the New York Times this week, even in the face of the violence and loss that upended his community. He pledged to be more brazenly Jewish, to do abundant acts of lovingkindness and to show up at synagogue as a proud Jew. His courage is an inspiration to each of us and a ray of light in a dark week.
Coming the same week as our annual commemoration of Yom Hashoah, this tragedy reminds us that the power of hatred must be confronted. In this moment of infinite sorrow, we pray that we find the strength within ourselves to promote human dignity and justice. May we find the courage to assert our own unyielding belief that xenophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are not an acceptable new normal. It is up to each one of us to model a world where people of all faiths can pray without fear.
Join us this coming Shabbat as we raise our voices in prayer for the realization of the Prophet Isaiah’s vision: “Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, nor devastation and destruction within your borders” (Isaiah 60:18).
Rabbi Sarah Mack
Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman
Cantor Judy Seplowin