Special Message From Rabbi Glazer

This Shabbat, October 17, 2015,
the Rabbinical Assembly is participating in a
Shabbat of Unity with the People of Israel.

In conjunction with this show of sympathy and support,
Rabbi Glazer wishes to share the below message.

023b Dear CBS communal family,

This week, with the constant terror and trauma our brothers and sisters have been experiencing in the Land of Israel and the sympathetic anxiety we experience from afar, I recall my time studying in Israel as a rabbinical student in 1996. I lost two fellow students, Matt Eisenfeld (z”l) and Sarah Duker (z”l), both of whom were ruthlessly murdered on the #18 bus.

The Jewish response to such severe and traumatic moments -- then as now -- is through Teshuvah, Tefillah, and Tzedakah. In processing the daily doses of trauma we experienced at that time, my peers and I found it healing to come together as a community for tefillah, but we also acted together to create a legacy for our fallen friends. The memories of Matt and Sarah remain a continual blessing for all those who were studying in Israel then, as our community created a beit midrash (place of study) in their memory at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Today, every rabbinical student studying at JTS connects with Matt and Sarah's blessed memories through Torah study and tefillah in that dedicated space. Something holy came out of the daily horror.

I feel right now that at CBS we also need to come together with prayers for calm & peace on this Unity Shabbat. I invite us all to join in this call for communal solidarity raised by the Rabbinical Assembly in this Shabbat of Unity with the People of Israel, October 17-18, 2015. Communities across the globe are joining together and reciting this kavannah by my colleague, Rabbi David Wolpe. Let us pray for the safety and security of Israel's citizens and the healing of the injured victims.

El Maleh Rachamim -- Compassionate God,
We pray not to wipe out haters but to banish hatred.
Not to destroy sinners but to lessen sin.
Our prayers are not for a perfect world but a better one
Where parents are not bereaved by the savagery of sudden attacks
Or children orphaned by blades glinting in a noonday sun.
Help us dear God, to have the courage to remain strong, to stand fast.
Spread your light on the dark hearts of the slayers
And your comfort to the bereaved hearts of families of the slain.
Let calm return Your city Jerusalem, and to Israel, Your blessed land.
We grieve with those wounded in body and spirit,
Pray for the fortitude of our sisters and brothers,
And ask you to awaken the world to our struggle and help us bring peace — Amen.

I also offer my own prayer, adapted from Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s Prayer for Peace.

Adon haShalom, We are heart broken, longing for a time when
war and bloodshed cease...
...So let it come to pass in our time —
'And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down
and none shall make you afraid.
I will drive the wild beasts from the land,
and neither shall the sword go through your land.’
Let justice flow like a mighty stream
so we might someday see that we are all part of
that elusive peace that only You can provide — Amen.

Tzedakah can be directed in numerous ways, including:

1. Magen David Adom
2. Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem
3. Friends of the IDF

Rabbi Aubrey Glazer