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?