If and When
Here is the statement I will release, if and when Temple Israel is targeted for anti-Semitic expressions.
I am not surprised to be here today. Grief and anger and alienation abound, maybe they always have. This event/this threat/this graffiti is an expression of grief, anger and alienation. The emotion is real. The target is misguided.
Most such incidents are traced back to one or two hurting white young men. I recognize this for what is it. No one attacks or threatens another unless they feel attacked and threatened. The perpetrator of this incident is no different.
The one or two angry hurting men who committed this deed are a vast minority of our beloved neighbors and allies. Expressions of empathy, outrage and love are pouring in from near and far. I encourage my fellow targets of hateful acts to take courage in this truth.
We are the children of prophets. Our earthly mission as Jews is to bring values into action, connecting "heaven and earth." This we will continue to do. We will continue to honor God by practicing respect for self and others. We will continue to be open to self-examination and to reconciliation. But we will not allow the distorted projections and misunderstandings of others to define - or even affect - who we are.
Please join me in a prayer for healing and comfort for all who suffer.