Stop Press

Reflection:  We are not helpless.

We are not helpless.
We bring healing with band aids and hugs, a cup of coffee and chicken soup.
We are not helpless.
We bring healing with a text, a call, a card; a response that says, “You are not alone.”
We are not helpless.
We bring healing with acceptance, patience, and understanding for ourselves and for others.
We are not helpless.
We bring healing with words of compassion and acts of compassion, reaching out with care and love.
We are not helpless.
We bring healing to heart and mind, body and soul. We bring healing every day.
We are not helpless   -Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker

Many of my colleagues in the United States and Canada have spent hours in community security briefings this week, planning messages to assure their congregants it is safe to come to synagogue on Saturday morning.

The above prayer, by Rabbi Cytron-Walker, is a plea from a different direction - that despite the hardships in the world - we can exercise a measure of control through being there for others.  It is easy to live life in isolation and fear, to live in a world full of boogeymen and bad actors.

But it is a matter of faith to choose a world where our active engagement in community building can make a difference.  To choose to write a card, make a call, or  visit a friend. To  choose to attend a shiva or check in with someone that we are thinking of.

This week, we read Aseret HaDibrot - the 10 Commandments, which details on one tablet our duties to our God, and on the other our duties to humankind.   I have had the pleasure of studying Rabbi Leo Baeck's theology this week with Professor Michael Meyer, whose book on Baeck just was released.  Rabbi Baeck focuses on how the mystery and commandment are merged into one in Judaism.

Put into my own theological framework - we are not helpless, waiting for God to bring healing to this world.  When we reach out to one another, we fulfill our mission as Jews to be in partnership with the Divine and bring healing to our world.

Let's make our community stronger, and each reach out to someone this Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Jordan