The world is an ever changing place and change is usually very difficult. I have seen a lot of turmoil in the Jewish community before and after our most recent election in November. I am acutely aware that there are both Republicans and Democrats who are members of Temple Sinai and that makes for a much richer and more interesting environment for me as the Rabbi here. In addition, turmoil or conflict in the Jewish community is mirrored in the globe. The overwhelming winds and forces of change can be frightening.
How do we respond to that? Firstly, Temple Sinai will always aspire to be a place where different views can be exchanged in a safe environment, symbolized by our vision of being “Your Family, Your Home”. Secondly, Temple Sinai’s values will not change whatever the changes there are in the world around her. We will still do everything in our power to be a warm and welcoming community. We will still inspire with worship that touches the soul and connects to the Divine. We will still value taking people from one chapter in their Jewish journey to the next through deep and engaging learning and educating our kids with sound moral values to prepare them for our future. We will never surrender our commitment to social justice in and outside of the Jewish community. We will always rejoice in our connection to and support for Israel and its people.
Those things will never change. Republicans, Democrats, men, women, Israelis, our interfaith partners, the LGBTQ community, mixed faith families and others are all welcome to share in those constants. Whatever the shifts and cycles around us, that is and will be what Temple Sinai stands for. In the meantime, I would appreciate folks from all parts of our membership spectrum taking the time to reach out and continue our never-ending conversation. Hineh tov u’manayim shevet achim v’achot gam yachad. How good and pleasant it is for brothers and sisters to dwell together, as the book of Proverbs says. We all live in America together and will strive to do what is best for our country and its future. We must have faith and hope in each other to accomplish that much.
Rabbi Malcolm Cohen