We are all shocked and saddened by the recent shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom in Overland Park, Kansas. On this eve of Passover, we pray for comfort and healing for all those affected in the greater Kansas City community and beyond. We will keep the families affected by this tragedy in mind at our Seder tables, and in time ahead.
We pray that our country will find the courage and the strength to overcome and eliminate the plague of bigotry and hatred in all its forms, and address the scourge of violence in our society. The acts of a few deranged individuals can sadden us, but will not deter us from working for peace, justice, respect for, and acceptance of all.
Particularly at this time of Passover we pray that we will all find the means to move from the narrow places which breed bigotry, hatred, and violence, to a way of life in which we are all free of fear and oppression, accepted for who we are, and can find redemption as one of G-d's creations.
For those celebrating Passover, we wish you and your loved ones a joyous, meaningful, liberating, and redemptive Pesach. For those who celebrate Easter, may your holy season be joyous and uplifting. For those who celebrate other holidays at this time of year, may you have good and joyful holidays. And for those who celebrate none of these, may you have a good and pleasant season.
Passover (Pesach) is the holiday which serves as the Jewish celebration of the liberation of the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews from oppression and slavery, and their Redemption by G-d (as told in the Book of Exodus in the Bible), in order that they be free to worship and serve G-d through the Teachings and Laws of G-d. May all human beings be blessed with this gift.
B'virkat shalom (with blessings for peace),
Rabbi Joe Blair