News of the mass shooting in Christchurch New Zealand reached many of us early in the morning as we were getting the kids off to school or heading out to work. In the last 48 hours we have learned the extent of this devastating act and we are deeply saddened and angered. Two Muslim communities were gathering for Friday prayer in their mosques and they were confronted by hatred personified as a right-wing self-proclaimed fascist.
This week's Torah portion, read in Jewish communities throughout the world, reminds us of our duty to eradicate hatred wherever we find it, personified in the biblical text and in our tradition as Amelek the enemy of the Jews. In Christchurch, hatred revealed itself as the enemy of Islam, in Pittsburgh as the enemy of the Jews. In Brussels too, on our own doorstep, we have seen the face of Amelek. We can say without hesitation: #TheyAreUs.
As our hearts and prayers for refuah shlemah go out to the injured, we also remember the many who lost their lives and the many more who will have to live with that loss. Today we redouble our commitment to eradicating hatred from the world whatever form it takes.
IJC Rabbinical Intern