Some Reflections After Colleyville

On my first day back at the syangogue after Colleyville, I (what else) made a TikTok video. Here it is, with a transcript:

Hi friends.

So it’s my first day back in the synagogue after the events at Congregation Beth Israel in Texas and I just wanted to come up to the sanctuary and reflect a little bit.

Now normally on a regular weekday I’m not up in the sanctuary, but in my office, but it’s still thinking about showing up into Jewish spaces on a regular basis and the care and the caution that is always on my mind.

We have safety and security measures of the synagogue some of which are visible and known, some of which you might not even realize. Some are physical some are behavioral. But just leaning into the reality that that is the condition of entering into Jewish spaces today: that we need to be mindful of safety and security and that on some level, it’s a risk. There’s not one service, one holiday program, one class that I’m not looking around thinking about the Safety and Security of my people and myself and running scenarios through my mind.

It’s difficult, it’s exhausting at times, but I’ll tell you this: I’m never going to stop showing up in to Jewish spaces. I’m never going to stop welcoming people into Jewish spaces. People who are here to connect with spiritual community, people who are in need—all are welcome.

And in response to the ongoing threats, my response is four-fold:

One, to be pragmatic and to do what we need to do in terms of security and trainings in order to keep ourselves safe.

Two, continue to build relationships beyond our walls with the greater community around especially the interfaith community so that we have support and allies, and that we can support others in their times of need.

Three, to call out anti-Semitism and hatred in all of its forms so that we can expose it and hopefully eradicate it.

And four, to commit myself more deeply to Jewish community, Jewish continuity, Jewish tradition, and Jewish life because it is so valuable to us and to future generations.

Yes, the Jewish story does contain within it pain and suffering story. And the Jewish story also contains within it the idea of hope and redemption.


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