Dear Kadima friends:
We woke up Saturday morning to the horrific news of an active shooter in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Tree of Life Synagogue was targeted by a domestic terrorist who was targeting Jews, and the work the Jewish community is doing to support migrants in the US. The shock in the moment is deep, and the heartbreak of it will expand, we are sure, as the days and week unfolds.
This weekend’s Torah portion, Vayera, is filled with tropes that are woven throughout our struggles in 2018, from hospitality to strangers, to confronting what evil and belief look like, and even questions at the core of our current moment - when do we stay and fight? When do we leave?
The trauma of today will be different for each of us - we might have friends and family in the area, or even in the shul targeted. It might bring up reminders of other attacks, like the massacre at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in 2015, or the shootings at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in 2016 - or the shooting at Seattle's Jewish Federation in 2006. We turn to each other for love and support. We recommit to our values to build a community based in equity and compassion.
We join today in solidarity and mourning with the Jewish community here and around the country and world, with those affected locally by the firebombing of Iglesia Ni Cristo church last weekend, with the families of the those murdered this week in Louisville, KY after a failed attack on a Black Baptist church. We recognize that these waves of violence draw from the same source, and we refuse to let this violence push us apart. It is from each other that our strength comes. We defy those who use fear and violence to try and control us.
And we come together in community. Kadima is hosting a potluck and healing service Sunday. Please join us, and invite others to gather.