The American Jewish Committee launched the #ShowUpForShabbat campaign following last Shabbat’s massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Jewish Federation of North America, with similar sentiments declared that this Shabbat should Solidarity Shabbat. This Shabbat should be a call for Jew and non-Jew alike to come to synagogue. Regardless of one’s faith, or observance of that faith, or synagogue affiliation, it is an opportunity to stand united against hate, participating in the same act that led to the murder of 11 worshipers last week, the same act that we at Beth El participate in every week.
As I shared on social media earlier this week, I never want to guilt anyone into coming to Shabbat services. I don’t think Jewish guilt should be a reason you ever come to synagogue. With that in mind, I invite you, not because of guilt, but because of pride, to come to synagogue this Shabbat. Show up for Shabbat.
Come to Congregation Beth El or one of our neighboring synagogues in the South Orange-Maplewood area. Or attend services at another synagogue close by in a neighboring town. Or celebrate Shabbat at a synagogue close to where you are or where you’ll be.
We do not respond to hate with fear. We respond to hate with love, with love of community, with love of who we are, with love of all that unites us as well as all that makes us unique. We respond to hate by coming together, for as long as we come together, we shall not fear. Come, not full of guilt, but full of pride. #ShowUpForShabbat
-Rabbi Jesse M. Olitzky