The violence in Charlottesville this past Saturday and its aftermath have strongly impacted everyone. People feel fear, anger, horror, and disgust.
Over the years, Temple Beth Torah has become a place where we can share with one another in a safe, trusting environment. On occasion, during a Shabbat service, we hold a communal conversation where people can express themselves without engaging one another in debate or personal attack. This Shabbat evening we will create a sacred space for sharing our responses to Charlottesville.
On a completely different note, millions of people are anticipating the solar eclipse taking place on Monday, August 21. According to Biblical and Rabbinic texts, a solar eclipse is a sign of heavenly displeasure. As the prophet Isaiah declares:
Lo! The day of the Lord is coming
With pitiless fury and wrath,
To make the earth a desolation,
To wipe out sinners upon it.
The stars and constellations of heaven
Shall not give off their light;
The sun shall be dark when it rises,
And the moon shall diffuse no glow. (13.9-10)
Instead of torment, let us look to Monday’s solar eclipse as a sign of God’s mastery of the universe and the splendor of nature. In place of the prophet’s curse, let us offer this blessing:
Baruch Atah, Adonai Eloheinu,
Oseh Ma’asei V’reisheet
Praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, Source of creation and its wonders.