A Water from the Well blog post, Parashat
Written by Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman
In the wake of all the devastating events we have witnessed over these past several weeks, I am reaching out to you today to share some thoughts and some helpful actions we can all take.
Our tradition teaches: כל ישראל ערבים זה בזה –kol yisrael areivim zeh bazeh, that all Jews are responsible for one another. We are all connected at the deepest level of the soul. The words zeh bazeh are more accurately translated as, one within the other. We are one body, one family, and one people with a common destiny. This is an undeniable fact of history and the current frightening rise in antisemitism speaks to the same inescapable truth. And as such, we must do all we can save, rescue, heal, and protect our family.
There are several ways our community is responding to this charge. The Executive Director of the Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel has reached out to all Conservative synagogues in North America with the following request:
“Three weeks ago, we lost one thousand four hundred of our brothers and sisters, and another two hundred and twenty brothers and sisters, men and women, children and the elderly were taken captive by our enemies. The most basic thing demanded of the heart of every Jew is to pray for each and every one of them by name, to remember them, and ask of God to bring about their release.”
Each synagogue that has responded to this call has been paired with an individual hostage to include in prayers. Our community has been asked to pray for Ella Elkayon Bat Maayan. She is eight years old. We are praying for her at every prayer service and I ask you as well, in your personal time, to think of this child, say her name and pray for her release and safe return to her family. Additionally, here is a link to a document with a full list of the hostages’ names and ages and an accompanying prayer that you can recite.
Our community is also participating in a “Sister Synagogue” program which connects us to a Masorti synagogue in Rehovot, Israel by the name of Adat Shalom Emanuel. I will be speaking to a representative of this synagogue this coming Sunday to learn how their lives have been affected and what they would like us to know.
In such dark times it is very challenging to remain anchored in hope and light. And yet we must. As we nurture the light within is, we can then offer it to the world. For those who find music to be a transformative tool, please enjoy this playlist of Music for Healing and Peace . Please also visit our Israel page on our website for other helpful ways you can respond to this crisis.
With fervent prayers for peace,