on Friday, 03 March 2017.
Posted in Rabbi's Blog
From our rabbi
Friends, we are not alone. One of the reasons we are here at Or Shalom is to ensure we go through our lives in community—for our children, for our families, for ourselves. While the pages of this Shofar are filled with ways for you to participate and connect and be together with others, I recognize that the world looks quite different outside of these pages of sanctuary.
Over the past few months, we have seen an uptick in anti-Semitism in our country. It has been on the rise in certain circles of social media, but we were able to opt out of such rhetoric by not following certain threads or commentators. Now, however, the talk has grown into more overt actions—a synagogue in Chicago was vandalized, bomb threats have come in waves against Jewish Community Centers across the country, including two here in the Chicagoland area (one of which is the closest JCC to Or Shalom). At the time of this writing, the latest was the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Missouri and a bomb threat called in to the biggest Jewish day school in Raleigh-Durham, NC, a place that only educates children and has no other function.
In these times, it is important to stay connected with and to one another, so we can stay strong and remain true to who we are. This can also become a time for us to seek bridges of understanding with others. Over the past couple months, I have been working together with a local pastor and imam to create a venue for those of us of different faiths who wish to enter into meaningful relationship with one another. Because of the connections we have made, I wanted to share with you the lovely email that Imam Azfar Uddin, of the Islamic Foundation North in Libertyville, sent to our community:
I just wanted to email you to say how sad I am at the disgusting act of vandalism where the gravesites of more than 170 Jews were vandalized at a cemetery in University City, MO. Islamic Foundation North will stand with you during this time. We strongly condemn this barbaric act. There are narrations in which the Prophet forbade people from sitting, leaning and even walking on the graves. Imagine how upset he would be by this disgusting act of vandalism at the Jewish cemetery. Please don't hesitate to inform myself if there is anything we can do. Once again, I'm sorry the Jewish community went through this.
It feels good to turn to one another as we sort out these times. It also feels good to stand with and to be supported by those of other faiths, affirming our hopes and efforts to live in freedom, safety and hope in our homes. If you wish to join us in building these bridges of understanding, please feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Or Shalom office.
L’shalom,Rabbi Ari N. Margolis
Pastor Alex, Rabbi Ari and Imam Azfarshare a light moment in front of our Ark.
Congregation Or Shalom21 Hawthorn ParkwayVernon Hills, IL 60061
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