This is what I sent to my friends and colleagues at the Interfaith Council of Temecula after noting a flurry of email activity pertaining to the senseless murder of people at prayer at their mosque in New Zealand.
Although my timing was terrible, as the Islamic Center of the Temecula Valley was just finishing Friday afternoon prayers and the mosque was very busy, I just concluded a phone call with Fayaz Nawabi, the director of the Center, offering him and their community my support and that if our congregation.
For me it’s a replay of sorts of what happened at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pennsylvania.
Ironically, my family just returned home from 8 days in Israel where once again I saw how well Arabs, Jews and Christians live their lives side-by-side in harmony. Children played with their friends on the street, parents grocery shopped with young in tow, the national parks and national preserves were full of families dressed in the garb of their communities, doing what families do.
During the weekdays everybody shared the same buses and trains, sat next to each other and went about their business on their way to or from work, school and normal daily errands.
I pray that what I perceived on our family trip is the rule, not the exception.
My blessings of strength, perspective, good will toward all of God’s creatures are extended to each member of the Interfaith Council and to every member of their congregation.
With a heavy heart but optimistic attitude I bid you all a Shabbat Shalom – a sabbath of peace-
Rabbi Sandy Rosenstein
Temple Beth Sholom of Temecula