It’s with great sadness that in the midst of the holiday of Passover, we witnessed, once again, another act of violence and hatred that has become far too common of an occurrence in our world. Instead of only recalling the joy of freedom from bondage, we were also gripped by the knowledge of someone who killed out of their hatred of Jews.
As our tradition dictates, we opened our doors during the Seders to welcome in the spirit of the prophet Elijah to herald in the coming of the Messiah and a time of peace on earth for all humanity. But this year was different. This year we opened our doors with the knowledge that in Overland Park, Kansas, three people were killed because of anti-Semitism. It doesn’t matter that the victims weren’t Jewish. The senselessness of the deaths is no less tragic because the perpetrator failed to kill his intended target.
Together we pray for the victims of violence and their families, praying that they will know peace, comfort and strength to help them through this difficult time. May their memories help us work to make this world a better place; a place of understanding and peace for all humanity.
At the end of our Seders we utter the words, “Next Year in Jerusalem.” With these words we offer our solemn hope and prayer that things can always get better if together we work to make our world a better place.
Senior Rabbi Howard Needleman, Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El, Plantation