Image: Hands folded on a prayer book. Photo by voltamax via pixabay.com.
There is no place for hate in American society, if we are truly a nation “of liberty and justice for all.” We are a nation committed to the concepts:
- that every person has a right to the free exercise of their religion
- that every person has a right to speak their mind
- that every individual is innocent until proven guilty
- and many other rights secured by our Constitution and its amendments.
There is no place for hate among the Jewish people, because we are commanded to love those who are most different from us. (Leviticus 19:34)
The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” – Leviticus 19:34
This Shabbat, we are in shock from the events of the week just behind us. We have seen hateful carnage. We have heard hateful words.
Some of us, in our shock, in our fearful response to fearful events, have said hateful words.
We have had strong reactions, spoken strong words, spoken up for dearly held beliefs.
In the quiet of Shabbat, let us release our fears and open our hearts.
Let us choose to see the face of the Other with compassion and a recognition of the divine spark within.
Let us repent of all speech that failed to meet the test of love, and resolve to do better in the week ahead.
May the peace of Shabbat bring us to wholeness, to wisdom, to a fearless commitment to the principles we hold as citizens and to the mitzvot, the commandments, we observe as Jews.
And then, as the holy day passes, may we face the future with renewed strength and calm.
May we comfort the mourners and heal the wounded. May we resolve to speak words of love to the face of hatred, because love will always be stronger than hate.
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. – Song of Songs 8:6