Dedication to the Tree of Life Congregation, Pittsburgh PA, October 27, 2018

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A Message of Resolve for the Kingston Community Vigil

On this somber occasion, we gather together to heal our hearts and confront our fears. People of all faiths are coming together across North America to give voice to grief. The shock of the cold blooded murder of Jews at their own synagogue chills us to the bone. And we come together to express our solidarity and resolve against the growing clamor of hatred and bigotry. The white hot noise of hate we will not allow to dominate. We will drown out the baying of antisemites with prayers of healing and peace.

“Out of the depths I call You, Adonai,” cries the psalmist.

“Listen to my cry.”

We pray not because we wait for God to intervene. We pray to remind ourselves of the deep sources of spiritual strength that we need to continue forward. We pray that as we continue to call for justice, tolerance, and inclusion, our strong moral voices may overcome the shrill cries of resentment and fear-mongering. We pray so that we may continue to stand with unwavering resolve in support of Jewish communities everywhere, and in support of all those who are vulnerable.

As the psalmist says,

“Chazak V’ya’ametz, Be strong and of good courage.”

Rabbi Matthew Kaufman, Ph.D.