Five More Thoughts

1. ANOTHER SERVICE, ANOTHER ARMED GUARD. After making cordial introductions — as one of the service leaders, I was the first to arrive this morning — he informed me that an access-grate was askew below the sanctuary. One of our congregants (chair of our newly formed Security Committee, in fact) checked it out with him and pronounced the situation completely and unmistakably benign. But I’m glad someone noticed.

2. As a friend put it so well on our congregational Facebook page: “Our Shabbat service today was truly blessed. Neighbors Yolanda and Silvana joined us to pray for peace and share their pain over the war and anti-Semitism. Yolanda told her story of her Jewish family’s religious persecution from Spain and other family members’ persecution as Lebanese Christians. Her daughter brought roses, candles and a cactus to share with us. The notes were written to express their wishes for peace. Our hearts are full.”

3. I’ve never seen so many haunted faces. We did manage to manifest some light — quite a bit, actually — during and after the service. But still.

4. At the post-service kiddush (“coffee and fellowship time,” for those unfamiliar with that Hebrew term), every conversation involved what, as another friend put it, “is the first thing I think about in the morning and the last I think of at night.”

5. Where do we go from here?

4 comments for “Five More Thoughts

  1. Judy Evans
    2023.11.05 at 2232

    Your observations mirror my experiences here in Torrance. Security is front and center. Synagogue doors locked as services begin.. conversations after services are quiet and haunting. Latent fear permeates our small congregation.Our president’s daughter was married to her Israeli husband. One ceremony o
    In California followed by an Israeli wedding last Friday. Sasha left for Israel on Friday to join her new husband helping with animals left on kibbutz. No Israeli wedding for now. I am haunted day and night. Am Yisrael chai

    • 2023.11.05 at 2242

      I’m so sorry — for you, for us, for the entire nation. Heads down, spirits up, we’ll get through this.


  2. Kathryn Hildebrandt
    2023.11.06 at 0023

    I don’t know quite how that feels, but I empathize. ♥️♥️♥️

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