"More than Israel has kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept Israel" -Ahad Ha'am
MLRT is #Pittsburghstrong
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and all those affected by this senseless tragedy.
We hope you will join us next Friday night, November 9 at 8:00 PM for a Shabbat Solidarity Service filled with love, solidarity, and support with Our Main Line Interfaith Partners.
To donate to the Pittsburgh shooting victims' families and community, please click here.
For information about security at MLRT, please click here.
Below are three articles that have been published in recent days to help us frame these difficult conversations and navigate the decision of deciding how much to share, if anything at all.
"How to talk to your kids about the mass shooting in Pittsburgh"
"Don't avoid talking to your kids about the Pittsburgh shooting"
"Helping children to process acts of terrorism"
Please know that your clergy and professional staff are here for every member of our community who wish to talk, gather, pray, etc. May we hold one another close in these challenging times.
Our colleague Audrey R. Korotkin, Ph.D. writes in this weeks URJ Ten Minutes of Torah “In the wake of the horrific murders last Saturday in Pittsburgh of 11 Jews at prayer, congregations and communities across North America have gathered in sanctuaries and in parks and on street corners to mourn the victims – sharing the names of the dead as they share their own grief. Even for those who did not know the victims, the slaughter is a dagger in the heart, for each life taken so violently strikes at us all.”
This is the essence of Jewish mourning: no one grieves alone. Many of us gathered Sunday night in our Sanctuary for a service of healing and mourning. We needed to be with one another, as soon as possible. We also know that mourning is both a process and a journey, with many ups and downs and stops along the way.
This Friday night the American Jewish Committee is urging congregations across the country to participate in #showupfor Shabbat, encouraging Americans of all faiths to visit synagogues for Shabbat services Friday and Saturday as a show of strength and love against hate. Join us Friday at 6:30 or Saturday at 10 for our Shabbat service.
There is story in the Talmud of a marriage and funeral procession both reaching an intersection at the same time. Which goes first? The rabbi’s answer: the marriage procession, because life always takes precedence. This Friday night is a family service, and we will celebrate the consecration of our First Graders. We as a staff debated: should we cancel or postpone this service. We answered no. Even in mourning, life must continue. And so we will have our family service, and include our prayers of healing and a prayer in memory of those who were killed.
Next Friday evening is the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht. The outpouring of support, concern, prayer, and love from our interfaith partners, both here on the Main Line, throughout Philadelphia and across the country has been overwhelming. Our neighbors care deeply and want to be with us. We have invited our interfaith partners on the Main Line to join us next Friday night as we observe this 80th anniversary. We will stand as one community in song and in prayer. And we will acknowledge that we do not stand alone.
While anti-Semitism and hate still exist and are very much real in our world, some things have changed. Pastor Martin Niemoller wrote these now famous words:
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
I will never be able to read these words in the same way, having experienced in this past week so many calls, texts and emails from my non-Jewish colleagues.
I know these are difficult and painful days. We, your clergy and your community are here for you. We will journey through this darkness, hand in hand, together.
Rabbi David Straus
Reset & Renew: Contemporary Shabbat Service
Friday, December 14 | 6:30 pm
Stressful week? Hit the reset button—come in out of the cold and into the warmth of Shabbat. Lend your voice as you participate in this engaging and spiritual Shabbat experience. The service is upbeat and offers contemporary music lead by Ross M. Levy and the Levites.
Shabbat Morning in Nature with Rabbi Geri Newburge
Saturday, January 19 | 8:30 am
Be sure to join us for our Shabbat morning hike to the beautiful Wissahickon Park for hiking, prayer, and community. Meet in the MLRT parking lot at 8:30 am to carpool or caravan to our hiking spot. For more information, please contact Rabbi Newburge or 610-649-7800.