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04/27/2023 09:30:35 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

It’s finally here, the moment that we have been waiting for too long. Jury selection began on Monday, April 24, and depending upon how long it takes to seat a jury of twelve with six alternates, the trial will then commence. I’m not sure how we are supposed to feel at this moment. Relief? Anger? Sadness? Frustration? Retraumatized? Most likely it is a jumble of all of them, and I think that is perfectly normal and legitimate. Unless you have previously experienced this, the tools are not yet in your toolbox to help you navigate through a trial of this nature. All of us are in the same boat, and feel the same way, and that is okay. What I think is most important is to remember that you are not alone.

Just as we were not alone in the dark days after 10.27, we are not alone now. I cannot tell you how many telephone calls, texts and emails I have received from caring people across the globe letting me know that they are thinking of us, sending love and support. That global embrace is so powerful, so comforting, so uplifting, so reassuring. It tells us that there are far more good, decent people in the world than not, and that evil will never win. But what about us?

Beginning this Friday evening, and continuing throughout the trial, I will be offering the opportunity to just sit and talk after services, both Friday evening and Shabbat morning. There will be no formal organization or subject. This will merely be an opportunity to decompress over Shabbat. The only thing I ask is that when you do attend services, please let me know that you wish to avail yourself of this communal support. In the absence of anyone letting me know, I will assume that there is no need to do so at that time. Which leads me to another important subject: community.

The embrace of your community can only occur when you are gathered with your community. The best times to do so are at Friday evening and Shabbat morning services, when we gather as a community. Just being in the presence of one’s community provides support that cannot be achieved through other means. It is where we draw our strength, our resolve, our comfort. A strong, silent hug can be the most powerful form of communication that I know. I have experienced that many times over the past 4 ½ years, and I know that you have as well. Just this past Sunday, at our L’hitraot Ceremony, the power of the hug was so life-affirming.

So my simple answer in how to cope with the next few months is simple: come to shul. Be with your community. Make the statement to the entire world that we are still here, that evil did not, will not, chase us from our commitment to a Jewish life. We are the Tree of Life.

Thu, June 1 2023 12 Sivan 5783