Messages from Rabbi Russo

July 31, 2015 - 15 Av

July 31, 2015
15 Av 5775
The Jewish calendar asks a lot of us during this time of year. We transition from one of the saddest days of the year, Tisha B'Av, to Tu B'Av, the Jewish day of love. We go from destruction to love, a journey that is not always easy.

This year felt particularly difficult as we learned of devastating attacks in Israel. Please read this message put out by the Masorti Movement and the Rabbinical Assembly (the Conservative Movement's professional organizations in North America and Israel) about the current events.  

*** Special message on behalf of the Masorti Movement and The Rabbinical Assembly following the acts of hatred last night, on the streets of Jerusalem and on the outskirts of Nablus ***

Jewish fundamentalism is neither better nor worse than any other fundamentalism. The knife, raised against the parade in the heart of Jerusalem last evening, and the match that ignited a family home in the village of Douma, near Nablus, in the early morning hours, are the despicable products of religious fanaticism. Tendentious use of verses can justify almost any wrongdoing, yet the legacy of Israel throughout all generations has always known to maintain a firm moral rule, “Do the right and the good” (Deuteronomy 6:18). Those who educate for hatred, spread evil, and call for harming innocent people are distorting Judaism, not building it. Murder, attempted murder and lust for murder have nothing to do with Jewish tradition.
We extend a comforting hand and hug the LGBT community that suffered a severe blow yesterday, send strength to their families, and offer prayers for the injured hospitalized in Hadassah and Shaare Zedek hospitals in Jerusalem.
We send condolences to the family Daobasa, whose infant son was burned to death last night by Jewish terrorists, and pray for the safety of other family members are still hospitalized.
May God Who makes peace on high,
Make peace for us,
for all Israel
and all who dwell on Earth.
Let us say, Amen.
Rabbi Mauricio Balter, Co-President, Rabbinical Assembly
Rabbi Dov Hayon, Co-President, Rabbinical Assembly
Shueli Fast, Chairwoman of the Masorti Movement
Attorney Yizhar Hess, CEO of the Masorti Movement 
This Shabbat we will come together in comfort and healing. This Shabbat is called Shabbat Nachamu, a Shabbat of healing and comfort. The name comes from the Haftarah, where we read "Nachamu, Nachamu Ami." I believe it is through comfort that we get to a place of love.  
Shabbat Shalom.