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In Times of Trouble We Need Each Other

12/01/2018 08:55:21 PM

Dec1

Terrie O'Day

In trying times such as these we are reminded of the importance of community. We are reminded of how much we need each other. This past month has been a very difficult time in our Jewish community and in the world around us; the horrific tragedy and loss of life at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh hit so close to home for many in our community; the senseless shooting in a college bar in Thousand Oaks, CA and all the other tragic shootings around the country; not to mention the California Wildfires raging out of control, claiming lives, homes, businesses, and the whole town of Paradise. Paradise, imagine that.

In these difficult times, I want to say how proud I am to be a part of Beth Tikvah Congregation. Indeed, we are a House of Hope that is there for each other and seeks to improve the world.

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks at the Tree of Life Synagogue, for example, we came together and were there for one another. What was so gratifying to see was how, the day after the attack, at a time when we worried that no one would show up for religious school, we had a full house. Yes, our parents and members were fearful, but at the same time they were resolute. We needed each other and there was no other place they wanted to be than Beth Tikvah Congregation. That morning we gathered together to mourn, to lean on one another and pray for the Tree of Life community. Again, the following Friday, we found that every seat in the sanctuary was filled and we had to open the doors to our adjoining library to accommodate all those who came for our Solidarity Shabbat. What we learned that week is that not only are we there for one another, but that many others outside of our community care for us as well. Not only was there a contingent of people at our Solidarity Shabbat from the larger community around us who came to show their caring and support, we also were grateful that our Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi came to start off the service with his message of solidarity and support. In addition, we as a community received countless notes and calls and flowers from area congregations, mosques and individuals. One couple, so moved by the tragedy, even made a sizable contribution to the congregation with the hope we could use this to further enhance our security. Their generous gift was accompanied by the most heart-warming of notes.

There truly is so much good in this world. We just have to look for it, to focus on it, and to make it happen.

Here at Beth Tikvah, we continue to work to make our House of Hope a home where we can find comfort and solace. We continue to work to ensure the safety of our community in the ever challenging world we live in, and we will work to do good for others wherever we can. We will reach out to others who are targets of hatred and violence. And we will redouble our efforts to help those who are less fortunate. There are so many ways in which we can make a difference in someone’s life and one small difference can have such a huge impact. Little by little we can chip away at the negative and replace that with the positive, the good in human nature.

This month when we kindle the lights of our memorahs may we each find a way to bring more light and more love into our world that can at times be shrouded in darkness.

May Peace and Love be with you all.

B’Shalom, 
Terrie

Thu, December 12 2019 14 Kislev 5780