Shabbat Greetings from Rabbi David Holtz – April 26, 2013

Rabbi David HoltzIt has been an extraordinarily difficult few weeks for our Rivertowns communities.  A series of tragic losses have left both adults and children feeling shaken and uncertain.  We want answers to so many questions, the first of which is usually “why?”  As I have said to many of you this week, I don’t believe that “why” has a meaningful answer.  I think the better questions are “what?” and “how?”  as in, “what can I do for you and how can I be of help?”  The phrase “we are God’s hands” is not a platitude, not a metaphor.  We bring God’s loving presence into the world through our actions.  I do not know why tragedies happen, but I do know what to do:  enfold those who are suffering in our loving arms; help take care of day-to-day needs; offer your tangible help with meals, rides, etc. And, perhaps most important of all, don’t forget about them as the weeks and months go by.

As I have witnessed our individual and collective  responses, I am filled with awe and gratitude to be part of such a supportive, tight-knit Temple community.  In the midst of our own grief we have reached out:  helping families; counseling and comforting folks who are shaken to their core; holding powerful and healing discussions with our children.   It has been an affirmation for me of the beauty and importance of being connected to a community, and in particular a synagogue community.

This week Shabbat cannot come soon enough.  It is an opportunity to breathe, to think about what is truly important and to give thanks for the many, many blessings that fill our lives.  Even if you are not a regular at services, I hope you’ll consider coming to TBA tonight or tomorrow morning.  It will be good for you, and good for your community.

Author: Melissa