Special Message From Rabbi Glazer

NiceFranceHaving personally delivered a sefer Torah as part of a Masorti Olami mission with my former congregation to seed the newly formed Maayan Or in Nice, France, I once again write to our CBS communal family with a heavy heart. Following Thursday evening’s attack in Nice that left at least 80 dead and countless others injured, CBS, along with the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association for Conservative/Masorti rabbis, released the following statement:

We are stunned and horrified by this latest terrorist attack in France. That this devastating attack came on Bastille Day, a national holiday celebrating liberty, magnifies its horror. Our prayers and sympathies to the families of the victims and the wounded as we once again stand in solidarity with the French people.

We join the international community in condemning this senseless attack, we pray for healing for those wounded, and we demand that all those responsible be brought to justice.

Join us this Shabbat at CBS for healing as we invoke the Hashkiveinu prayer, "May God protect our comings and goings for life and peace, now and forever."

May the memories of the victims be a blessing to those who loved and cherished them, to all of France and to all who seek peace.

Please consider supporting the healing efforts of our brothers and sisters in France here: https://masortiolami.org/one-time-donation/

- Rabbi Aubrey Glazer

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

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