What a week this has been!

Our hearts continue to break as we hear the news of the rampant violence in Israel as well as the increase in antisemitic attacks around the world. No matter what our personal politics might be, I hope we can all agree that Beth Shalom Synagogue unequivocally supports Israel’s right to exist. And we pray not only for peace but demand that those with the power to do so work towards a real and lasting peace and the end of hatred.

With our once-in-500-years flash flood this week, I hope that each and every one of you is safe, dry, and doing well. Please know that we are here to help you through this, and any other difficult times. We only ask that you reach out and let us know how we can help. Our Jewish Federation in Baton Rouge is currently offering financial disaster support; see the Federation’s letter.

I personally find that this is a time for prayer and meditation; a time for words of comfort; and a time to be reminded that we are not alone. I’d like to share with you a prayer from the healing service we held on Shabbat Shuvah (the Shabbat between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur) that was written by Rabbi Dayle Friedman. I hope you find the words comforting.

Adonai watch over my small domain
Of light and shadow,
Those few people who share my love
And all others upon this earth
That sometimes shakes with thunder
And reverberates with lightning.
Help us to live with fear
And conquer rage.
Heal the hate that makes us kill
And covers the ground
With this red sea
That only You can part,
So we may all walk through the wilderness
To Your realm of peace
Where all men and women are one
And sing Your blessed name.

Kol Tuv ~ Rabbi Teri