Dear Friends, 

 

 

The Ner Tamid, the Eternal Light, continues to burn in every synagogue throughout the world. It burns in spite of repeated attempts to extinguish it, and eliminate our people from the face of the earth.

 

Yes, we are members of a people that have too often known grief and anguish. And now we mourn the brutal murders of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, three young boys who were studying the highest meanings of being a human being. We feel grief for them and their loved ones.  We feel anger that some so-called human beings could commit such a vicious act. And we feel uncertainly at a time that feels overwhelming, not only because of Gaza and the West Bank and Hamas and Hezbollah; but there is hatred and bloodshed and inhumanity in so many places of our world.

 

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is one of the great scholars in the Jewish world today. He knew and taught these boys.  May his words touch our hearts:

 

        “A dark cloud has befallen our nation…our hearts are broken, yet united with the hearts of the boys’ families as we mourn and we cry with them.  We cannot erase the evil.  But we can create good.  We can transform the world through goodness by living as Jews and acting as Jews with our Torah and Mitzvot.

 

      He concludes:

 

       Let us demonstrate to the world that ‘the more they were oppressed,   the more they multiplied,’ (Book of Exodus), and that the very Jewish soul that our enemies so wish to destroy, is alive and vibrant as ever.”

 

We Jews are a people of hope. The hope that the angel within us can prevail against the beast that is also within us. The hope that our people, and all good people will one day know the blessing of peace.

 

                 Shabbat Shalom    

 

              Rabbi David Greenberg