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Rabbi's Message

01/03/2020 04:45:08 PM

Jan3

Dear KHN community,

Many of us are wondering what to do with our sadness, outrage, fear and desire to connect with others in light of the Jew-hatred that has been taking place in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere. This Sunday, there is an opportunity to travel to New York City for the No Hate No Fear Solidarity March. Together with thousands of others, march across the Brooklyn Bridge — proud, united and strong — in a rallying call for an end to anti-Semitic violence. Please see the recent e-blast for more details and to register.

I will not be there personally (though I would like to be able to be in two places at once) as I will be showing my Jewish pride by traveling with the KHN Confirmation class and their families to the Notorious RBG exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Another way to express pride and visibility is to participate in Wear a Kippah Day” on this Monday, Jan. 6, 2020 . (Organized in part by Rabbi Perry Rank, Rabbi Jonah’s father!) This is a way for the world to show that there is no room for anti-Semitism in the United States or anywhere else in the world. The spike in antisemitic attacks against the Jewish people must end. Whether you are Jewish, Christian, or Muslim; Hindu, Sikh, or Buddhist; male or female; agnostic or atheist, straight, gay or however you identify yourself, on January 6, 2020, we are all Jews. An attack against one American is an attack against all Americans. In the United States, there’s no room for hate!

 

We are in a place in our country that is more uncertain than ever, in light of the news that under the direction of the Trump administration, Maj. Gen. Qasem Suleiman was killed in a U.S. drone strike. Reading Israeli newspapers and many posts from friends in Israel, it’s clear that there is fear and questions about what will happen next after this historic turn of events. One set of questions comes from Ha’aretz writer Anshel Pfeffer. [https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/iran/.premium-four-key-questions-after-trump-s-assassination-of-soleimani-1.8351038]

 

While some believe that a response may not happen right away, [https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/01/03/iran-knows-how-bide-its-time-dont-expect-immediate-retaliation-soleimani/] New York City is on a heightened alert for possible Iranian retaliation. [https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/New-York-City-bracing-for-Iranian-retaliation-after-Soleimani-killed-613022]

 

As Americans and as Jews, we will be straddling the desire to stay open and proud, and the desire to keep ourselves safe. Not only can we look for direction from our Jewish Federations who are in close contact with security sources, but we can look for peace in solidarity with other Jews and people of peace and justice across all differences. There are so many of us hungry to connect and keep working toward the world we envision, rather than isolating ourselves out of fear. We must stay proud and live out our Jewish values, even as we take steps to try to minimize risk.

 

As we enter this Shabbat, may we gather strength from community and rejuvenation from the wisdom of our tradition in order to face this most uncertain world.

 

I look forward to seeing you this evening for a potluck at 6:15 pm followed by services at 7:00 pm. Tomorrow morning we will have Shabbat Zimra led by rabbinic intern Allyson Zacharoff and myself, with a d’var Torah from KHN member/scholar Anne Pettit.

 

Shabbat shalom, Gut Shabbos,

 

Rabbi Diana

Wed, July 8 2020 16 Tammuz 5780