I feel it’s important to share this article, written by the President of a Reform Synagogue in Charlottesville, Virginia about their firsthand experiences this past weekend. It’s a really well-written account that captures all the complexity of their experiences. It does talk about the fear as armed white supremacists marched past their Synagogue shouting Nazi slogans, but it also talks about the kindness of strangers who reached out to them to do whatever they could. It talks about them protecting their Torah scrolls and people even as they accepted that white supremacist websites were calling for their Synagogue to be burned to the ground. It talks about courage and compassion even in the face of hate and it talks about their spirit as they move forward.
My emotions reading all this are all over the place. I’m so proud of how they handled such a terrifying situation and I’m also so heartbroken that they had to go through this. For so long, we’ve said, “These things could never happen here.” This is a first hand account of what it is like when they do and how one community came together to weather the storm.
May they all be blessed with peace and comfort this week and beyond and may the wounds of this world, so deep and painful, be healed.