Honorable Mensch-ion

Voices of Peace

It is difficult to believe that we are just six days removed from the tragic shooting at the Chabad of Poway, which took the life of Lori Gilbert-Kaye and injuring the Rabbi and an 8 year old girl playing during Shabbat services.

It is unfathomable that people attending Yizkor are now themselves being memorialized. This same week, I have watched from afar as thousands walked from Auschwitz to Birkenau for March of the Living. How can anti-Semitism be so alive and well?

We read in our Torah this Shabbat of the scapegoat, the ritual of the Temple priests to rid them of sin. Unfortunately, we know how the scapegoat has been turned upon us, blaming the Jews for the problems of the world. Then, yesterday morning, at our daily minyan, a young boy came up to the Torah to recite his first aliyah for his Bar Mitzvah. As he chanted the blessings loud and clear, I shared with him these words:

“Today is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. We observe a moment of silence, recalling the 6 million Jews whose lives were silenced. And yet, at this moment, your voice of Torah is the answer to their silence and their loss.”

May our voices continue to be answers, adding light to darkness, hope to fear, and love to hatred.

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