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The following are sermons and thoughts of Rabbi Lewis to her congregation. Please visit this section frequently to see what's new on her mind.

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Temple Menorah Rabbi's Weekly Message
In Response to the Events in Charlottesville

August 14, 2017

23 Av 5777

As happens every Shabbat, last weekend, our sanctuary was filled with the same words of Torah that were being read in Jewish communities all over the world. Here are a few of those words:

When you have eaten your fill and built fine houses to live in, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold have increased, and everything you own has prospered, beware lest your heart grow haughty and you forget the Eternal your God, who freed you from the land of Egypt, the house of bondage.

(Deuteronomy 8:12-14)

This is just one of the Torah’s dozens of reminders that regardless of how comfortable our lives become, we ought never forget that the Jewish people has a personal understanding of what it feels like to be the strangers and the outsiders and the vulnerable ones.  Our past compels us to protect those who need protection. 

It is not lost on me that at the very moment those words were being chanted worldwide, including in synagogues in Charlottesville, white supremacists there not only threatened the strangers, the outsiders and the most vulnerable in our country with despicable hatred, but they used deadly violence to reign terror upon those who dared to speak out against them.

The tragic events of this weekend are a raw reminder that hatred continues to plague our country.  And with a despondent certainty, I realize that the story of hatred, with this chapter starting in Virginia, is not finished being told. 

Let us not allow our ‘hearts to grow haughty,’ but rather to consider what each of us as individuals and what together we, as a community, can do to allow us to tell a different story entirely – one with a much happier ending.  And then, quite simply, let’s get busy doing it.


Rabbi Leah Lewis