In Response to Poway
Six months after Pittsburgh, yet another synagogue was targeted in Poway, California by what looks like a right-wing extremist who had a gun. Killing a woman and injuring three others, this man entered Chabad of Poway and started shooting. It was only because his gun jammed that there were no more casualties.
The Talmud says, "All Jews are responsible for one another." In these days of rising and blatant anti-Semitism, this has never been more true. Our thoughts are with those who suffered and still suffer in Pittsburgh, in Poway, and in every other place where religious communities are targeted. It makes no difference whether they are Jewish, Christian or Muslim. Each of us worships according to our conscience and no amount of hatred can change our souls and the vision of the God we worship.
Our vision is a God who demands both love and justice. As Ecclesiastes says, there is a time for both under the sun. Now is the time for justice. But justice must never color and skew our desire for a community - and nation - founded on love and respect. That is Beth Miriam's vision and it is a vision from which none of us should ever depart. This is our soul and no one can take it away from us.