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Dear Shir Chadash community,

We emerged from Shavuot into a landscape we could not have imagined. Who would have thought that the road away from Sinai this year would be marked by homicide, violence, rage and destruction?

The Torah commands us not to stand by idle when our neighbor’s blood is shed. A few verses later, we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves. We must find ways, as individuals and as a community, to manifest these sacred obligations.

When our ancestors stood at Mount Sinai, they begged Moses, "You go and speak for us...we will listen." So perhaps our first step in responding is for us to listen, too.

Let us open our ears to the voices of those who are directly involved, directly affected. Let us acknowledge that much of what is happening falls outside our own experience. Let us remember the wisdom of Hillel, who taught that we should not judge our fellow human beings until we have stood in their place [Pirkei Avot 2:4].

There is a great deal of work that will need to be done.

But let us begin by listening.

Rabbi Silver