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Show Up for Shabbat--Stand with Colleyville

Dear Bnai Israel Congregation Family,

There is a Shabbat tradition to sing zemirot, songs, after a shabbat meal. Before you clean up the meal, or even move on to dessert, the table erupts in songs so that family and friends can stay together a bit longer and sing verses of praise. One such song goes like this:

אַחֵינוּ כָּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, הַנְּתוּנִים בְּצָרָה וּבַשִּׁבְיָה, הָעוֹמְדִים בֵּין בַּיָּם וּבֵין בַּיַּבָּשָׁה, הַמָּקוֹם יְרַחֵם עֲלֵיהֶם, וְיוֹצִיאֵם מִצָּרָה לִרְוָחָה, וּמֵאֲפֵלָה לְאוֹרָה, וּמִשִּׁעְבּוּד לִגְאֻלָּה, הַשְׁתָּא בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב.

As for our siblings,​ the whole house of Israel, who are given over to trouble or captivity​, whether they abide on the sea or on the dry land: 

May the All-prese​nt have mercy upon them, and bring them forth from trouble to enlargeme​nt, from darkness to light, and from subjectio​n to redemptio​n, now speedily and at a near time. 

It wasn’t until last night that I truly appreciated the full weight of that zemer (song). Before yesterday it, like many of our songs and prophetic writings, referred to some time long ago or a time yet to be seen in the future.

Yesterday, the Jewish people were attacked when, following Shabbat services, an unnamed suspect held four people for almost 12 hours, including Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. Thanks to law enforcement and the collective prayers of the Jewish people, all four hostages have been released. 

Upon returning safely to his home, Rabbi Cytron-Walker posted on social media:

I am thankful and filled with appreciation for
All of the vigils and prayers and love and support,
All of the law enforcement and first responders who cared for us,
All of the security training that helped save us.
I am grateful for my family.
I am grateful for the CBI Community, the Jewish Community, the Human Community.
I am grateful that we made it out.
I am grateful to be alive.

I urge you all to do as we have done for two thousand years–continue to live Judaism out loud. Do not let those who aim to terrorize us in our holiest places on our holiest days win. I urge you to Show Up for Shabbat.

This Friday night we are installing the new board and celebrating Michelle Bannon for her years of extraordinary service in her position as president. Kava Notes will be offering songs to enhance the evenings. After services we will have a celebratory oneg. 

Show Up for Shabbat–in person or on zoom. Come celebrate as a community so that fear does not keep us from our tradition and each other.

In doing so we can fulfill the words of yet another zemer:

יְהִי שָׁלוֹם בְּחֵילֵךְ שַׁלְוָה בּאַרְמְנוֹתָיךְ.

Peace be within your walls, prosperit​y within your palaces.

Rabbi Chaya Bender

Mon, December 5 2022 11 Kislev 5783