October 31, 2018
Dear friends and neighbors of Temple B’nai Israel,
We are broken-hearted about the tragic shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh but comforted and inspired by the outpouring of support our congregation has received from the community. We are so appreciative of the calls, flowers and notes that have arrived at our doors. The interfaith Shoals community has shown on so many occasions the true representation of loving your neighbor as yourself. We retain hope for the future based on these kind actions and words. I know we will all continue to keep the victims, their families and the Squirrel Hill community in our prayers, and the memories of those who were killed will be a blessing.
There is hate and evil in this world, but we pray that this and other recent tragedies inspire each one of us to take stronger action to repair the world so that there may be a day when we all love each other with perfect hearts and live in profound peace. The compassion and support demonstrated by the Shoals community gives us hope that someday love and a sense of community will conquer hate and evil.
We would like to invite the Shoals community to join us on Nov. 9th at 7:00pm for a Shabbat Memorial service. This will be part of our participation in Florence’s bicentennial celebration. We will be dedicating the synagogue’s historic marker earlier in the day at 3:00pm and the public is invited to that event, as well. Our memorial service will include an opportunity to remember each of the Pittsburgh victims and to band together as a community to amplify the love and connection we feel as one human family.
The Talmud, one of the central texts of Judaism says, “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” Thank you again for your kindness. We are honored to be on this journey of love, just action and repair as part of the Shoals community.
L’Shalom (In Peace,)
Rabbi Nancy Tunick
Temple B’nai Israel
Florence, AL 35630