Special Message From Rabbi Glazer

Orlando_CBSLogoDear CBS Communal Family,

At the core of Judaism is our ongoing pilgrimage to be enlightened by the divine visage. As the Psalmist yearns: "To dwell in your house all the days of my life, to behold your glowing face." (Psalm 27:4).

This Shavuot, as we were in the process of this very pilgrimage through prayer and learning, tragedy struck at Pulse, a nightclub in Orlando. As Jews, we are commanded constantly to seek the glowing face of the other, and in so doing, to rediscover the divine image through which each of us is created. Therefore, the heinous murder of each and every LGBTQI community member this past weekend was a direct violation of the commandment. When that sacred relation is violated, the divine name imprinted on the face of the other is also desecrated.

Our community is grieving, with a deep sense of loss for those directly impacted by the massacre in Orlando, and CBS sends blessings of healing and hope. Let us strive to restore the sense of safety that we have all -- especially LGBTQI leaders! -- worked so hard to achieve over the past several decades, beginning in sacred spaces and moving out into the public sphere for the LGBTQI Community.

A Wider Bridge is holding a program tomorrow night at 7 pm at the Oasis, featuring a brief performance by the Jerusalem-based dance company, Catamon, followed by some discussion with the dancers and a brief memorial for Orlando. Catamon understands its ongoing obligation is to continue dancing with joy in the face of tragedy and tears.

What can each of us do? Among other things, we can respond to this heinous desecration of the divine image with compassion and caring in the following ways:

1. Give blood at your local blood bank. In the event of a tragic emergency like the Pulse attack, it’s the blood already on the shelves that can help save lives.

2. Support A Wider Bridge by donating.

3. Attend the vigil tomorrow evening (with Catamon) **

4. Join the local LGBTQI community through A Wider Bridge and its allies in Jerusalem in their Orlando vigils.

** CBS is invited to join this vigil and dance program in solidarity. The suggested admission fee of $18 is being waived by Wider Bridge in light of the Orlando massacre and the need for the community to gather. Please visit the event's Facebook page for program details.

Blessings of hope,
Rabbi Aubrey Glazer

Special Message From Rabbi Glazer

CandleDear CBS Communal Family,

In the wake of the mass shooting yesterday at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, we send our blessings of healing and condolence to all the victims' families. The tragic events occurred less than a week after a gunman killed three people and wounded nine in another shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

As we approach the kindling of lights for Hanukkah, let us continue to champion the Jewish values of hope in the midst of despair and of affirming life in the face of these recent terrors. May the memories of those who lost their lives be a blessing, and may their families know no more suffering.

Yesterday, blood banks in Southern California urgently solicited donations in order to assist the wounded being treated at local hospitals. That call serves as a reminder of the value of donating blood when and where you can -- Bay Area residents can make donations at any Blood Centers of the Pacific location. For more information, call 888-393-4483 or visit www.bloodcenters.org.

Blessings of hope,
Rabbi Aubrey Glazer