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A Special Message from Rabbi David A. Schuck

08/16/2017 11:00:00 AM

Aug16

The past five days have been deeply distressing in our country. Unbridled hatred was unleashed in Charlottesville, Virginia. For anyone paying attention to the trends in America, this should not have been surprising. And yet, seeing the images of racism, anti-Semitism, and rage is so painful.

It’s hard to know what we can do about all of this, and it is easy to descend into political grandstanding. But our tradition suggests one thing clearly: we must not be indifferent to hatred. Our prophetic tradition demands that we speak up in the wake of such horrific displays of violence in our streets. These moments call upon us to transcend our political differences in order to make a strong statement to the larger community that we will not remain indifferent to hatred. 

To this end, please join us as we link arms across political, religious, and racial boundaries at an Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Charlottesville and the Nation hosted at the New Rochelle United Methodist Church (1200 North Avenue, New Rochelle) this Thursday at 7:30 PM. We will respond to these recent displays of anti-Semitism, racism, and xenophobia with expressions of unity, tolerance, and love. I hope to see you there.

I also invite you to participate in Together at the Table, a grassroots movement of Shabbat dinners across the country dedicated to celebrating diversity, equality, and inclusion in the face of fear, division, and hate. People are gathering across Shabbat dinner tables this Friday night to engage in constructive dialogue with a plurality of perspectives, to address deep, painful divides in our communities, and to consider the role we can play in strengthening civil discourse and society. You can get more information and sign up here

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel implores us to act. He wrote, “Indifference to evil is more insidious than evil itself; it is more universal, more contagious, more dangerous." The easiest thing for us to do is shake our heads and move on with our day, but this is a moment that calls for us to show up and demonstrate to the larger New Rochelle community that we respond swiftly and unequivocally to bigotry and hatred. 

I hope to see you on Thursday.

L'Shalom,

Rabbi David A. Schuck 

Mon, May 20 2019 15 Iyyar 5779