It has been a week. I have been exhausted and exhilarated, heart-sick and full of pride. Mostly, I have been reminded of when I was 12 and I came to the full realization that the world then, particularly the Christian world, had abandoned its fundamental premise of loving its neighbour. This premise of care and protection, a premise we read in Torah and read weekly in our prayers, a premise that was taught by that Jew called Jesus, was abandoned by most Christians throughout Europe as the Nazis gained foothold in Germany.
The international conference at Evian solidified such abandonment as politicians from around the world found pusillanimous (my new favourite word, along with quisling) justifications for not allowing Jews from Germany to enter each of their countries as refugees from the Nazis.
At that young age I realized that the justice promised to the world in that very simple phrase, “Love thy neighbour”, did not extend to Jews, and the result was the abandonment of justice and truth and the devastating industrialized murder of over six million Jews.
This past week many of our young people are realizing that their compatriots in their social justice worlds have abandoned them. It has been devastating for them, frightening and life-changing as they realize that even their progressive friends who hold such principled positions about gender and people of colour think, speak and act with such contempt about Jews and about Israel.
On Friday night we welcomed over 25 young people to a Shabbat dinner – and it was everything a Shabbat dinner could be. Good food, loving and meaningful connection, safety, and new beginnings. We are honoured to have a community of welcome to all who need a place at a table.
To this end we are offering a free bowl of matzah ball soup to any student who needs refuge. The Deli is open Wednesday through Friday, 11 – 1; come, sit together, take a minute and know we love you, and want you to always feel welcome within our walls.
With love, wishing you long life.Rabbi Lynn