Today a great tragedy occurred — a terrorist attack. An attack that killed four innocent people in the middle of their prayers. Terror because now everyone is locking their doors and glancing suspiciously at everyone else who they are passing on the street, and perhaps even those they work with side by side. We all lose in this game – the victims and also those who encourage terror. True leaders act to end the cycle of killing. True leaders speak vision and not intimidating slogans.
I am going to remember her words as I navigate the aftermath of this crime: the grief, the anger, the politics, and the rhetoric. There are people on both sides who will use this tragedy to manufacture more misery. I can use Rabbi Blank’s wisdom to discern the difference between a “leader” who is using the tension for profit, and a true leader, who points the way out of this terrible wilderness.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Be very careful about buying anyone’s rhetoric. And should someone offer a clear path to justice and peace, may we recognize him or her and put our support behind them.
I am proud to have been a classmate of Rabbi Blank’s at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem and in Los Angeles. I am overjoyed to see a colleague shine so bright as a teacher of Torah and a leader of our people.