Thursday, October 06, 2016

[an orthodox rabbi walked into a gay african-american bar…]

The tragedy that took place in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando has affected many people. In this article, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld shares how his Orthodox congregation responded.

I love this true story for a few reasons:
  1. It shows that differences do not have to be barriers
  2. It gives an example of how we can cry with those who cry and laugh with those who laugh
  3. It shows how we can be Christ-incarnate in the midst of others’ lives
  4. It reveals how, when it comes down to it, we often have far more connections with others than we first expected.

Here's the beginning of the story:
When our synagogue heard about the horrific tragedy that took place at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, it was at the same time that we were celebrating our festival of Shavuot, which celebrates God’s giving of the Torah.

As Orthodox Jews, we don’t travel or use the Internet on the Sabbath or on holidays, such as Shavuot. But on Sunday night, as we heard the news, I announced from the pulpit that as soon as the holiday ended at 9:17 p.m. Monday, we would travel from our synagogue in Northwest Washington to a gay bar as an act of solidarity.

We just wanted to share the message that we were all in tremendous pain and that our lives were not going on as normal. Even though the holiday is a joyous occasion, I felt tears in my eyes as I recited our sacred prayers.

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld June 15, 2016

Read the entire article here...

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