I wish I was shocked by today’s act of antisemitic violence in California. Unfortunately, we have seen far too many attacks on houses of worship in the past six months (although, of course, these kinds of attacks have been going on for far longer – Sikh temples in Wisconsin…black churches in Charleston…and Birmingham…). Pittsburgh. Christchurch. Sri Lanka. And now Poway.
Although I’m not surprised, my heart is still broken. To be reminded at the tail end of our festival of freedom and liberation that we are still in danger from those who would seek our destruction is particularly perverse. And yet, we frequently remind ourselves, from the closing words of Michael Walzer’s Exodus and Revolution:
“…wherever you live, it is probably Egypt…there is a better place, a world now attractive, a promised land…’the way to the land is through the wilderness.’ There is no way to get from here to there except by joining together and marching.”
Although we have taken increased security measures in the wake of Pittsburgh, we will always strive to keep CKS an open and welcoming community. It is essential to our communal identity to be a loving and supportive space. We’re not going to stop doing that.
We end our Passover Seder each year with the words, “Next year in Jerusalem!” While there is certainly a history of understanding these words literally, I invite you to understand them in the context of Michael Walzer’s words. May we continue to work towards Jerusalem – Yerushalayim – Ir Shalem/Shalom – a city of completeness and peace. May we help to build it, speedily, and in our time, alongside our neighbors and friends.