Dear TBC Family,

Early this morning, I learned of the terrorist attacks on the Muslim community of Christchurch, New Zealand. 

For the past thirteen hours or so, I have carried in my heart the profound grief that comes from knowing that another sanctuary has been polluted by hate and bloodshed.  Violence is always heartbreaking and painful, but violence in a place dedicated to prayer is more than painful.  It is profane.

An hour or so ago, I found myself thinking of the notes that our congregation received after the shooting in Pittsburgh.  I know that those messages of solidarity were precious to all of us. They reminded us that we were not alone- neither in our grief nor in our determination to stand against hate. 

I have already heard from many of you who are determined to make sure that our Muslim neighbors feel the same comfort that our friends brought to us as we grieved after the tragedy in Pittsburgh.  In addition to reaching out individually to Muslim friends and loved ones, our congregation will be working to fulfill your goal in two ways.

First- On my way to temple tonight,  I drove to the Danbury Masjid and left a gift and message of friendship on their doorstep.

Second- At services tonight and on Sunday morning, I will be collecting messages of support and sympathy.  I will bring these notes to the Almadany Islamic Center of Norwalk next week.

Friends, Shabbat begins in only a few minutes, and no matter where you are, I hope that you will say a prayer for our Muslim siblings.

May those who fear be calmed by the knowledge that they are surrounded by people who care for them.
May those who are wounded find themselves carried to health on the wings of our prayers.
May those who grieve be comforted because they do not grieve alone.
Chazak. Chazak. V'nitchazek.
Be strong. Be strong. And let us strengthen one another.

Shabbat Shalom, 

-Rabbi Rachel Bearman