Healing Through Togetherness

by Rachel Gildiner / October 31, 2018

This week has been a tough one.

The horrific shooting at The Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh has brought to light the excruciating level of hate- manifested in anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia-  that exists in our country. This horrific tragedy may be hitting us in different ways and at different times – I know it has for me.

At GatherDC, when we feel paralyzed and scared we offer what we do best – we bring people together. We did just that on Monday night, opening up our townhouse for a public streaming of the Community Interfaith Service & Solidarity Gathering that was hosted by Adas Israel, JCRC, and The Jewish Federation. 20 young adults stopped by to share in the comfort of their fellow community members. Holding hands, singing together, and sharing words of hope for a better tomorrow has inspired us to go on. In togetherness and love, we can find healing.

So in this difficult time, in our fractured world, I encourage each of you to spread love and togetherness to your circle. You can start repairing our world from exactly where you are:

  • Send a note or text to anyone you know connected to Pittsburgh in any way.
  • Reach out to anyone who works in a synagogue for whom their daily sacred space has been violated.
  • Call someone you know who has experienced the loss of a loved one recently because they may be feeling a magnified sense of pain and loss.
  • Smile at those you pass on the street. Spread kindness wherever you go.

As Parker Palmer writes in his book “A Hidden Wholeness”, the heart can be broken in two ways: “the first imagining the heart as shattered and scattered; the second imagining the heart broken open into new capacity, holding more of both our own and the world’s suffering and joy, despair and hope.”

May we continue to find comfort in those around us. May the memory of the lives lost forever be a blessing. May our community go on, stronger than ever and with even greater capacity to love.

If you want someone to talk to, please do not hesitate to email me at rachelg@gatherdc.org or call GatherDC at 202-656-0743. We are here for you.

Sending love,

Rachel Gildiner

Executive Director, GatherDC

P.S. If you are looking to find healing in togetherness this week, here are Shabbats happening across the District. We encourage each of you to #ShowUpForShabbat this Friday. If you have questions or want to host your own Shabbat, please let us know how we can help.