Rabbi Mendel Lifshitz walked slowly up the synagogue isle of the Chabad Jewish Center, with a pause he looked out to his overflowing Boise congregation. His long sighs of anguish searched for the right words.
“At times like these we must gather.” That Monday evening we did gather, to listen, to feel a part of our hearts that were once again saddened.
Lifting us above the moment, Rabbi Lifshitz began sharing a story, an Auschwitz story, where his grandmother was dragged away to a death camp. There were no neighbors to help, their businesses closed down, no police to defend. “That was then, this is now, many stand behind us.”
“We Jews have been compared to an olive, when it is crushed, the best part comes out.” He added, “This is a time of action, we can write notes to the families ... the notes would be hand-delivered to the 11 families who live in Pittsburgh, the place of bridges, the city of steel.”
Following my evening with the rabbi, I unbend my thoughts of blame for his call to action, “find someone who is a little different than you.”
– Jeannine A. Smith, Boise
How ironic that some person so filled with hate would murder innocent Jews when it was a Jew who sacrificed himself for all people 2,000 years ago.
– Walter Varnes, Nampa