A Moment in Time: “We Are” – A Response to the Tragedy at Congregation Tree of Life in Pittsburgh

November 1, 2018
We are Parkland.
We are Newtown.
We are Orlando.
We are Las Vegas.
We are Charlie Hedbo.
We are Virginia Tech
We are Charleston
We are San Bernadino
We are Laramie
We are Oklahoma City
We are Columbine
We are the Congregation Tree of Life in Pittsburgh
We are all these places where violence has inflicted terror on humanity.
And today WE are Culver City, and we bring a message of SHALOM
We are Jews
We are Christians
We are Muslims
We are Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists.  We are Bahai.
We are atheists and agnostics.
We pray to God, to Adonai, to Allah.
We love our children.
We are black, we are white, we are Latino.  We are Asian.  We are LGBTQ.
We are Democrats.  We are Republicans.
We are immigrants.  We are native.
We are survivors.
We are redeemers.
We are.
We are and we love and we dream and we hope.
We are.
We pray and we listen.  We embrace and we care.
We are.
We march toward truth.  We replace darkness with light.
We are.
We pursue justice.  We march for peace.  We gather with unity.
We fight the evils of antisemitism, a disease that has plagued Judaism – and all who care about humanity – for 3500 years.
We inherit the right to be safe in our schools, our houses of worship, and our places of recreation.
We inherit the responsibility to demand more of our community when that safety is compromised.
We are.
And we always will be.
As the prophet, Amos taught, “Let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
And as our liturgy, like a loving embrace, reminds us:
Baruch Atah Adonai – hapores sukat shalom aleinu v’al kol Yisrael, v’al kol Yerushalaim, v’al kol yoshvei tevel.
Blessed are You, Adonai, Ruler of the universe, who spreads a Sukkah, a shelter of peace, over all of us, over Israel, over Jerusalem, and over all who dwell on earth.
Rabbi Zach Shapiro
A change in perspective can shift the focus of our day – and even our lives.  We have an opportunity to harness “a moment in time,” allowing our souls to be both grounded and lifted.  This blog shows how the simplest of daily experiences can become the most meaningful of life’s blessings.  All it takes is a moment in time.
Rabbi Zach Shapiro is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Akiba of Culver City, a Reform Jewish Congregation in California.  He earned his B.A. in Spanish from Colby College in 1992, and his M.A.H.L. from HUC-JIR in 1996.  He was ordained from HUC-JIR – Cincinnati, in 1997.  He was appointed to the HUC-JIR Board of Governors in 2018.
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