Standing For Peace And Against Hate

(I am diverting from my usual format to respond to the tragedy in Christchurch, New Zealand.)

Jewish tradition teaches that every person is formed in the image of our Creator. Thus, any violent act of hatred tarnishes all of us. We are pained by the repugnant massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Zakhor, in which we are reminded to blot out Amalek. The book of Exodus teaches that the Amalekites attacked the Israelites in brutal and hateful fashion. Today, we rededicate ourselves to work for peace and understanding to render obsolete those who wish to do the work of Amalek today.

We stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters both locally and around the world, just as so many in the Muslim community stood with the Jewish community in the wake of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last October. Earlier today, I joined today with the rest of Charleston’s rabbis to reach out in solidarity to Imam Shamu Shamudeen, who responded to us with messages of gratitude and love.

We are committed today, more than ever, to teaching and practicing love and acceptance.

Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Rosenbaum