Messages from Rabbi Russo

May 2, 2015 - 13 Iyar 5775

May 2, 2015 - 13 Iyar 5775
On Shabbat morning we will discuss a pasuk from this week’s parashah,
Achrei Mot - K’doshim; "You shall be holy, for I, The Lord your God, am holy" (Leviticus 20:26). We will discuss how we strive to become more holy.  One way we strive to be holy is to recognize the parts of the world that are struggling.  This upcoming Shabbat we honor the pain felt in Baltimore and other cities today because it is also our pain.   

There is a teaching from Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai from a Midrash (Midrash Rabbah, Vayikra 4:6) that tells the story of a group of people traveling in a boat.  One person got out a drill and started to create a hole beneath his seat.  His fellow travelers said to him, “Why are you doing this?” The man with a drill responded, “What concern is it of yours? I am drilling a hole under my own seat.” His companions picked up on this issue right away and said, “But you will flood the boat for all of us!”
It is up to us to speak out against injustices and promote peaceful resolutions.  Our system is broken stemming from the educational opportunities that are withheld from vulnerable populations.  I am proud to share with you that Stephanie Hausner joining the Rockland cohort and went to Albany this Tuesday to lobby for a monitor in the East Ramapo school system.  I was disappointed that a pressing work matter kept me in Nyack and I look forward to the next lobbying opportunity.  When we take a stand for the injustices in the world then we are all in the boat together and we are one step closer to a life infused with holiness.     

Shabbat Shalom.