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An important message from Rabbi Faryn

10/08/2023 10:31:39 AM


Rabbi Faryn

Ana Hashem Hoshia Na.
Please, Redeemer, save us.  

Ana Hashem Hatzlicha Na. 
Please, Resource, let us be well.

Ana Hashem Anaynu B’yom Koreinu.
Please, Steadfast One, Answer us on the day we call.

These are the words we cry out on Simchat Torah: a day we think of as one simply of joy, revelry, music, dance. Which it is. But it is also a day we cry out min hameitzar—from the narrow place—with all of our pain, all of our anguish, all of our need, in its most raw, most visceral form, and we demand, “Answer us!” The time has come. The status quo is no longer tolerable. We require true liberation. 

I know these words took on a new meaning for me as we prayed them yesterday morning, the need for redemption as close to me as my own breath.

And I imagined this “we”—this “us” in need of liberation—in ever widening-circles. It included all of those in the land of Israel and Palestine, terrified for their lives at this moment. It included all of those in Israel and Palestine who have been terrified for their lives their whole lives due to the impacts of a lifetime of violence. It included all the family and friends and loved ones of people living in that land, terrified for their safety. It included all of us American Jews and Palestinian Americans who feel stuck, like there is nothing we can do, but feel our heart bursting out of our chest at the sheer pain of it all.

So, in the spirit of Dori Midnight’s poem, Hinenu, that we read, again and again, as our opening mantra at our High Holy Day services, I will say:

If you are grieving. If you are numb. If you are terrified. If you are on fire with rage. If you feel unaffected by this news. If you judge yourself for that. If you cannot pull yourself away from the TV, the news, social media, your phone. If you are scared about what this might do to our community. If you simply just don’t know what to do: Hinenu—we are here.

I am here for you. If you need to talk in the ensuing days, weeks, don’t hesitate to reach out.

If you are looking for a place to gather today:

San Francisco – Bay Area Jewish Community Gathering
Sunday, Oct. 8, at 11:30 a.m.
Cong. Sherith Israel, San Francisco

Featuring Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and Ambassador Marco Sermoneta, Consul General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest.

Marin County – Community Gathering in Solidarity with Israel
Sunday, Oct. 8, at 4:30 p.m.
Osher Marin JCC Atrium, San Rafael

Santa Clara County – South Bay Vigil for Israel
Sunday, Oct. 8, at 7:00 p.m.
Cong. Shir Hadash, Los Gatos

Or Shalom will also be hosting our own space to gather in prayer and community on Monday night, October 9, at 7:00 p.m. at 333 Cortland. 

Sat, July 20 2024 14 Tammuz 5784