This week has been very full. Full of emotions. Full of sadness. Full of friendship. Full of mourning. Full of love. Last Saturday was another tragic and senseless shooting – at a Pittsburgh Synagogue. This was just days after 2 African Americans were shot and killed at a grocery store – simply for the color of their skin. Then on Saturday, 11 people were shot and killed and still others are hanging on for dear life. Community elders, leaders, healers, and friends whose lights have been extinguished. All because of fear and hate.
As a member of the Jewish Community, right after the Saturday shooting, I started to get emails, text messages, and calls from friends of all faiths and traditions wishing me their thoughts and condolences. I felt loved and embraced by so many people. While a yahrtzeit (memorial) candle burns in memory of those that have died, a brighter light began to shine from those that are still living and who recognize both the fragility of life and the amazing power we have to love one another.
As we move into Shabbat, people will be gathering to pray, to mourn, and to hold each other up. People of all faiths, of all colors, of all traditions, of all ages, of all abilities – we are so much more alike than we are different. It is our common humanity that holds us together and that shines brightly beyond any border, skin color, way of life or religion.
So this Shabbat, I wish you peace and I wish you strength to go into the world and to embrace your neighbor, to hold their hand and to let them know we are in this together.