As a New Year Begins and Anti-Semitic Violence Strikes in Germany
How wonderful to be together on the Holy Days. And how sad to write you now about the tragic shooting that took place this morning near a synagogue in eastern Germany. The rising anti-Semitism we have experienced here in America in recent years has long been a painful reality of the European Jewish experience, and today it claimed the lives of two people on this our holiest day of the year.
Whenever the Jewish community is under assault, we Jews intuit the importance of being together as so many of us were today – our very act of gathering, a defiance of those who would do us harm.
As I said on Rosh Hashanah, I believe our synagogue has a crucial role to play in standing against anti-Semitism – first through education. And I hope you will join us on two important occasions this month: one being Shabbat services, October 25, when we commemorate the first anniversary of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue and journalist Bari Weiss speaks to us on the theme of her new book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism; and then again on October 30, when the American Jewish Committee’s David Harris addresses AJC’s ongoing fight against global anti-Semitism, and especially in Europe. And, as I noted on Rosh Hashanah, our second role – one which houses of worship must assume – is to stand against hate by standing shoulder to shoulder in partnership with those of other faith communities who share our hopes and dreams for a world where all will one day sit beneath vine and fig with none to make them afraid. And so we shall continue to do just that.
As this New Year unfolds, may the One who fashions peace in the heavens above help us begin to create peace here on earth below.
And may it be a good and sweet year for all of you.
Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson