Shalom Aliechem- Peace on to you!
That’s the Traditional Jewish greeting. The Torah teaches us to pursue peace.
The Torah also teaches us to stand up for ourselves when we are being wronged. The email that went out a week ago was wrong. It was Anti-Semitic and all the students were “forced” to see it. The fact that this happened is an indication that there is a need for change.
The Jewish month of Elul, the month leading up to the High Holidays is a time for true soul searching and accountability (Cheshbon Hanefesh). We take full responsibility for our actions. We don’t excuse our actions. We don’t deflect them. We take responsibility for them.
As a community I think it’s time to question our “Liberal Safe Haven”. Do we really love everybody, or do we get away with that claim by surrounding ourselves with similar minded people? Do we really call out “evil” when we see it, or do we only call out those things that are “in style” to call out?
There is no novelty in loving somebody who we’re totally in agreement with and whose opinions are more or less identical to our own. Loving your fellow means respecting them because they are your fellow human being. Feeling safe in a community means being able to be accepted for who you are.
Let us resolve to make a real effort to truly care about our fellow. Let’s try to find things that we have in common, and to focus on them.
In this merit, may we all be blessed with a good year sweet as honey- L’shana Tova Um’tukah!
Rabbi Dov and Chani Bialo
Chabad House at Reed