That was the theme for the UJA General Assembly conference I recently attended. The idea that we are all one family hit home for me when I learned that one of the murdered worshippers of a Jerusalem synagogue, was my Rabbinic mentor.  Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik signed my certificate of ordination and presented it to me.  To think that among the dead was his beloved grandson sent shivers down my spine. But even if there was no connection to any of the innocent victims or even the brave, young Druze policeman who was killed trying to protect civilians, we are all one family and we grieve with the mourners and injured.


Literally hours after we commemorated “Kristal Nacht”, the beginning of the Holocaust and the night of broken glass when hundreds of synagogues were fire-bombed and desecrated, we see history repeat itself.

There is not much world outcry and little media condemnation when we are attacked.  Surprised? No, disappointed? Yes. We hear about the spiral of violence and despicable acts committed by Jews, but what is neglected to be mentioned is that we universally condemn these atrocities and the Palestinians, fellow Muslims and most of the world either cheer the taking of Jewish lives or remain largely silent.

Learning and prayer has resumed in that synagogue once the bodies and blood were removed.  We go on to live our lives with dignity and quiet faith, ever hopeful that the Palestinian people will come to their senses.  Until that time arrives, come to shul, study a Jewish text, perform mitzvoth, work to make this fractured world a better place and support the hands of those who defend Israel with your dollars and voices.

May the memory of the dead be a blessing and may the injured be granted a “rfuah shelaima”