We are all affected by a swirl of change, by media reporting and by anxieties. It accosts us from so many directions. Through it all, our sacred task is to stay centered and to remember who we are.

Part of the swirl last Shabbat included a hostage taking at a Texas synagogue. At even the whisper of such an event, our Jewish emotional antennae go up, so keyed-in are we to some of our stressful and sad national memories. Our core is connected to our experience as a minority inside a larger dominant group.

We are – shockingly – only two fifths of one percent of the world population, and under two percent of the population here in the United States. Moving through the day when such events are in the news, we work to maintain daily routines, all the while keyed in to what we know is unfolding, and all the while knowing our fellow Jews elsewhere are doing the same.

Several hours before the hostages were released, Rabbi Scott Hausman Weiss wrote the following:

I pray for my colleague Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Waker,
And I pray for his congregants;
I pray for the man so distraught that ‘this’, he believed,
was his only recourse
for relieving the pain in his heart …. 

… we know that a broken heart can do horrific damage in the throes of seeking to be heard. But we will not allow this to break us… 

We are not whom our enemies believe us to be; we do not dwell in the darkness they project upon us 

We are the Lighters of Light….
We are created B’tzelem Elokim, in the image of G-d.

In this broken world – and the brokenness is so often thrust upon and at us –
we are pained for the damage done to us, we are pained by the damage inside those who inflict damage.

And yet we know, and must hold on to knowing, that no matter how frayed the world, we are the values and aspirations we bring to the table, we are the Lighters of Light.

We are Lighters of Light.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Mark Biller