Several days have passed since the shooting at Chabad of Poway. My heart is unspeakably heavy as I read more and more about a true ashet chayel – a woman of valor – Lori Gilbert-Kaye – whose life was cut short by yet another senseless shooting at a house of worship, this time very close to home. She sacrificed her life in order to save the life of her beloved Rabbi, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. May her memory always be for a blessing.
I suppose that many of you are concerned about your safety as you contemplate coming to services. While nothing in life is guaranteed, I want you to know that we are under the watchful eye of the Temecula Police Department. Our protection and safety is their highest priority. I am in constant contact with patrol officers and senior officials of the department and after a careful assessment of our new site, it has been determined that we may well be safer in our new location than we were in our old location. And, I want to point out, that we were quite safe in the Chamber of Commerce complex. I don’t want to go into detail about our safety precautions in an email, but feel free to email either Craig Schlumbolm or me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you might have.
As you have all likely read or heard, the prevailing sentiment of the Jewish Community is this: We will not let the hatred of others keep us from living and praying as Jews. We will stay vigilant; we will stay careful and smart – of course! But we will not be cowed by hate-mongers or their allies.
Tonight begins Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Memorial Day. Light your yellow yahrzeit candle in memory of those who came before us and on whose shoulders we stand. While close to a generation of Jews perished at the hands of a maniac and his minions, many fought back in both grand and tiny ways and survived to tell their story. Light your candle for all of those heroes. Never again will we let those who wish to do us ill prevail. I hope you will attend services at TBS or your usual congregation this Shabbat as a show of solidarity and support especially during such a challenging time. Just show up, ok? Fill the pews of every shul in the community. That is one way we can all heed the words of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein – as we aim “to shine more light and do more good in the world.”
Rabbi Sandy Rosenstein