There is the loss of our innocence, replaced by feelings of fear and dread?
There are multiple layers to these tragedies and their impact on our people. Of course there is the loss of precious life, the potential that can now never be realized, and the impact of these individuals that will no longer be felt. There is the tragedy of the murderers and how they have forfeited their Godly spirit by having engaged in acts that are the epitome of evil.
But it occurs to me there is yet another tragedy and loss – there is the loss of our innocence, replaced by feelings of fear and dread. Leiby’s murder has inspired parents of young children around the globe to wonder should we let our children walk around alone? Beginning at what age? For what distance? At what time of day? Rabbi Abuchatzeira’s murder has already motivated Rabbis to ask questions such as “can I meet with people one on one anymore? Am I safe even around congregants and students whom I thought I knew well?”
Some may argue that asking all of these questions is a good thing and will yield greater safety in the long run. Others believe that harping on these questions will produce a culture of neuroticism, paranoia and unnecessary worry and fear. After all, these were isolated incidents carried out by deranged, psychotic individuals and in no way reflect a real danger. I personally don’t know which attitude is correct, but I do know that prior to a few weeks ago we were not struggling with these questions and that too is a great tragedy in my opinion.
As we rapidly approach Tisha B’av and please God conclude this inauspicious period of mourning and heartache, let us look forward to the time that the Navi (Prophet) predicts in which men and women will sit in the streets of Jerusalem and watch as children play freely in perfect safety with unbridled joy and happiness.
BRS is not just a Shul, it is a community
August 19, 2011 by urjnetworkadmin • Rabbi
A shul is a place to attend classes, davening, events, programs and activities. A community is so much more. It is a family that celebrates with you, mourns with you, provides support, love, and a sense of mission. BRS’s mission is to invite Jews of all backgrounds, levels of knowledge, observance and diversity to participate in our modern orthodox, Zionist community committed to the study and observance of Torah, to outreach and to contributing to the world around us.
We feel deeply honored and proud that our community is not limited to Montoya Circle. Firstly, there are individuals and families that identify with our mission and our sense of community and therefore attend BRS despite the distance from their home. But secondly, our community transcends Montoya Circle because of our wonderful satellite, BRS West.
Since its inception, BRS West has provided its members a ‘small community’ feel, while at the same time being part of a larger mission, vision and affiliation. BRS West members are full partners in the BRS family, participating in our programming, leadership and activities. We are profoundly proud and feel indebted to the BRS West families who through their commitment to BRS’s sense of community and mission have expanded our border and our reach westward. We are also grateful to Hillel Day School and their leadership who have been gracious hosts and generous sources of support in hosting BRS West on their campus.
This Sunday, under the outstanding leadership of Rabbi Mordechai and Hadassah Smolarcik, BRS West together with BRS will be celebrating a major milestone, the dedication of the BRS West Beit Midrash in the new middle school building at Hillel Day School. Shacharit will take place in the old Beit Midrash at 8:00 am after which the Sifrei Torah will be accompanied into the new Beit Midrash. A light brunch will follow.
Please join me in attending this momentous occasion and showing our full support to the BRS West branch of our family. May we celebrate many more milestones together, in partnership, for years to come.