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This Shabbat, we read from a new book of Torah and the parsha of the same name. The translation of Vayikra is “And He Called."

Today, we awoke to terrible news. We arise in solidarity with our Muslim friends because of the murders and injuries perpetrated against peaceful worshipers in Christchurch and Linwood, New Zealand mosques. Once again, sacred spaces have been defiled and the blood of innocents has been shed.

In Torah, God called to Moses. On this day, The Holy One calls to each of us. This is a call to arms, but not the metal kind. This call to arms establishes a chain of outreach, between one person and another, one heart and another, because it is upon us (Aleinu), to stop the violence, the unnecessary loss of life, everywhere.

Words cannot express the shared grief and horror of what happened in New Zealand. We know families and communities are forever changed, as we honor each of those precious lives transformed and taken by violence. Now, we gather together in strength and solidarity, forming an unbroken bond of love, comfort and support, as we become the change we want to see in our world.

RABBI MINDIE SNYDER

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