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Wednesday Wisdom & Wit

01/19/2022 03:44:55 PM


Rabbi Daniel Sherman

            It is Wednesday, but I still very much have Colleyville, TX and the events from this past Shabbat at Congregation Beth Israel on my mind.  I am grateful that everyone escaped the Temple without physical harm.  I am grateful for and so appreciative of all the law enforcement agencies and professionals who were involved and who made a safe outcome happen.

            I am grateful for so much.  But I am also sad and scared and disappointed and mad.  What happened was shocking in so many ways – but it was not necessarily unbelievable.  Sadly we have seen a rise not only in hate and violence in our country, but specifically a rise in anti-Semitism and in acts of hatred targeting Jews and Jewish communities.  Unfortunately, this is part of our current reality.

            Here’s what I think we should take away from the events of last Saturday.

            First, we Jews are one community.  What affects one group or one synagogue affects all of us.  We want our fellow Jews and fellow Reform Congregation in Texas to know that we stand with them and are here for them.  They are not alone.

            Second, please know that we take safety and security very seriously here at Temple Sinai.  We have security plans in place.  We continue to be in contact with security experts from the Jewish community and greater New Orleans community who have advised and coached us.  There is no perfect plan; there is no way to be prepared for everything.  But know that we are trying.  I am grateful to our head of security, Joe Williamson, for all that he does for our Temple and congregation.  Security is always on our minds and on the minds of our staff and leadership.

            Third, please know that we are here for you.  We love our congregants and our community.  We – your Temple family, our Sinai leadership, clergy, and staff – care about you and are committed to do all that we can for you.  If you have concerns or if you just want to talk, know that we are happy to reach out.  Please just let us know.  We are here.  We are listening.  We care.

            Fourth, please know that we will get through this.  We have been through a lot throughout our history as a people.  There have always been challenges and obstacles in our path.  But we have survived, persevered, and thrived.  We are still here and, with the help of God, we hope to be here for a long, long time still to come.

            With all of this in mind, we push forward here at Temple Sinai.  I hope that you will consider joining us for Shabbat services this Friday evening at 6pm – whether in person or online.  Every Shabbat service is a service of healing and hope – this week I think those prayers are needed even more.  We will pray for our community, our people, and our world. 

            Please stay safe, try to stay healthy, and I hope to see you soon!

Thu, May 30 2024 22 Iyyar 5784