Welcoming Remarks — Austin Community Wide Memorial Service for victims in Itamar

24/03/2011 at 11:37 1 comment

22 March/16 Adar II
Neil F. Blumofe, Rabbi

We come together this evening, united in our common purposes — to remember and not to forget. Tonight, we are to move past our diverse and complex political views and even too, past those things that estrange us as people and stand here in this sacred space, naked and vulnerable before God.

We stand here together to gather strength from one another, recognizing and acknowledging our fears, knowing that in history, to be Jewish is fraught with peril.  And we say, as have our ancestors and those killed time after time, for no reason other than being Jewish, “I am a Jew.”

It is from this deep place of knowing that we are able to go out into our world as blessings.

We are gathered to remember the Fogel family – a young family – two parents along with three of their six children who were murdered – stabbed to death, including a three-month-old baby whose throat was cut open, as they were sleeping, overnight on Shabbat on 12 March.

There are no words to say, as we are lurched back to the sobering realities afoot in our world.  And there are no words to say – and yet, gather we must, to share silence, reflection, music and prayer.

Yizkor Elohim et nishmot hakdoshim v’hatohrim – we pray that our God remember the souls of the innocent victims who were murdered in the perpetual war waged against the People of Israel.

We gauge the emotional impact of hearing about this massacre and others like it seemingly without end.  And we hold each other a bit tighter.

Let us look past our difference in worship, perspective, politics, and place and let us find no barrier, so we may welcome in compassion and pride for our people – let us not gather only at memorial services to mourn our people.  Let us live with an overflowing heart able to leap over our contrasts and sing our song to God with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our might.

And now, let us find quiet as we are brought to this place – this place of fresh tears and open questions. Let us claim the Fogel family as part of our family and find a depth and a commitment to k’lal Yisrael.

Lo tira mipachad lailah – meichatz yauf yomam – Let us not be afraid of terror by nightfall – nor of the slings and arrows that fly by day (Psalm 91:5)

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Joan Brook  |  25/03/2011 at 16:33

    I’d like to sign up on your Blog to receive updates. I’m sorry but to me it’s not clear how to do that.


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