January 19, 2022
Many of us came out of Shabbat hearing the horrifying news from Colleyville, Texas. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and three of his congregants were being held hostage. What a shock, emerging from sacred, peaceful time, to horror. And it would be several more hours until we learned that all hostages were finally safe. In all, they endured 11 hours of unspeakable terror.
While all four hostages are now safe and endured no physical harm, this kind of emotional-spiritual trauma leaves a profound mark. Obviously this mark is most deep for those who lived through it, and those close to them. But there is also a ripple of fear and anxiety that is sent out not just into the Jewish community, but the human community.
As we learned from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday when we gathered to read Letter from a Birmingham Jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Similarly, harm and trauma inflicted on anyone is harmful to the collective as a whole. For this we pray for healing of heart, mind, and soul.
One of the ways we heal is feeling the support of our brothers and sisters, our allies outside the Jewish community. I was buoyed when shortly after Shabbat I had received several messages from friends of CBI. Pastor Ben Colahan of Faith Lutheran Church immediately expressed his concern and support. He let us know his community was holding us in prayer and that we could reach out should we need anything.
Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker also spoke of feeling the support of the interfaith community, across the whole country. The actions of a single gunman, revealed the many layers of support we share–within the Jewish community AND across communities. May we walk this path together with all our brothers and sisters–arm in arm, heart to heart. As Reb Zalman reminds us, “The only way to get it together is…together.”