A Message from Rabbi Ilana on This Weekend’s Events in Colleyville, TX

by Rabbi Ilana Zietman / January 19, 2022

I’ve been sitting with my thoughts today after sighing a big sigh of relief that the hostages from Beth Israel were safely released.
I know that this sigh, while full of gratitude, also has a hint of fear, exhaustion, uncertainty and sadness. My generation of Jews is witnessing and experiencing more violent anti-Semitism than we believed possible here in the U.S.

While it may be both an outcome of a different reality than Jews have ever lived through or our naivete, it’s something I’m definitely grappling with more and more. I hear a lot from my community about their pride in Jewish resilience, and while we definitely have an incredible history of bold survival as a people, resilience is not only innate and not only innate to us. It’s a spiritual practice and way of thinking and being in the world we can choose to tap into—especially after experiences like Beth Israel’s. Whether we realize it or not, we are probably internalizing the trauma of those congregants and if we just ignore it, we can let that break us before we even realize we’re broken.

So, that’s all to say, I’m all for practicing Jewish resilience and finding strength and comfort with other humans, including our multi-faith partners, who are crucial to this effort. Thank your for standing by us in this tough time.

I hope everyone can take a breath with that sigh of relief and recognize that our resilience is holy work, it is not passive.

Thanking the Source of Life and still praying for peace.
ברוך אתה ה׳ שומע תפילה
Thanks to the One, who hears our plea.