We begin November with heavy hearts, concerned minds, and edgy nerves. We are coming off a week filled with terror and sorrow. We are horrified that 11 people were killed while praying at their synagogue in Pittsburgh, and that in Kentucky two African-Americans were killed in a supermarket because they are black by an individual who apparently intended to carry out a massacre at a predominantly black church. This also was a week that witnessed the launch of a government-driven effort to erase our transgender siblings as well as continued demonization of migrant people fleeing persecution and death. This is a scary time.
As the tide of anti-semitism and racism rises both in our country and all over the world, this is a time for us all to pray for peace, to pray for our nation, to pray for people of goodwill to stand together against anti-semitism and racism and the various forms of hate that demean the dignity of human beings.
In response to the many gestures of support to stand with the Jewish community in the wake of the horrific violence, Rabbi Adir Glick and Rabbi Max Weiss invite members of the wider community to join their congregations in solidarity for this Friday’s Shabbat service. I look forward to joining with them and many of you this Friday, November 2 at 6pm at West Suburban Temple Har Zion. Please see the information below.
Our Multi-Faith Thanksgiving service on November 18 is another opportunity for our community to come together in solidarity. Rev. Marshall Hatch of New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in the East Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago will give the sermon. He is Co-Commissioner of The Leaders Network. Members of his congregation have been building relationships with members of Oak Park Temple, most recently with a trip to Washington D.C. to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I hope you can join us on Sunday, November 18, at 7pm at St Catherine of Siena - St Lucy Catholic Church at the corner of Austin Blvd and Washington in Oak Park.
May each of us pray with our congregations and may we come together as a wider faith community. We pray for the families and friends who have lost loved ones. We pray for our communities to pull together to resist hate with love. We pray for our nation during this election season, when so much anxiety is at hand, and the rhetoric of hate and polarization seems to be ever more on the rise.
Rev. Alan Taylor