We, the members of the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council feel compelled to share the following with members of the Colorado Jewish Community:

In just a few weeks we will be entering into the month of Elul. In Jewish tradition, this is a time of deep introspection as we contemplate the past year and look ahead to the future. During the month of Elul, we engage in the practice of Cheshbon Ha-Nefesh – taking an accounting of our souls. The purpose of this practice is to look at aspects of ourselves and our community that we both appreciate and understand that we need to improve upon for the future.

Over the course of the past few days, we have watched as horrible acts have taken place in the State of Israel. The murderous rampages at the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade and the Palestinian Village of Duma have shocked us to the core. In both of these cases, children were murdered in cold blood. The fact that evidence points to the possibility that the perpetrators of both of these violent acts were Jews who were acting out of misguided religious fundamentalism makes them all the more horrific.

Anyone who lives in Israel is acutely sensitive to the effects of terror. The countless bombings, kidnappings, murders, rockets and many other forms of violence that our enemies have forced upon us since the beginning of our return to the land have created a climate of both fear and resilience that has become a defining characteristic of everyday life. We have learned to abhor such acts and perceive them as evil. To see Jews engaging in these tactics is a cause of great concern.

Unfortunately, these recent acts of Jewish terror are not isolated incidents. We are increasingly seeing a pattern of dehumanizing and violent “price tag” terror attacks on non-Jewish institutions, progressive Synagogues and community centers and interfaith programs throughout Israel. When Jewish hands are responsible for violent and murderous acts we have no choice to but condemn those whose ideology allows such horror to take place. We ask that all Jews of conscience reject violence in the name of our faith. As we enter into a new year, may the words of our ancient prayer echo forth within our consciousness. Oseh Shalom Bimromav, Hu ya-aseh shalom aleynu, v’al kol Yisrael. May the One who makes peace on high, bring peace to us and to all Israel. Ken Yehi Ratzon – May this be G-d’s will. AMEN

L’shalom (In peace),

Rabbi Joseph R. Black – President
On behalf of the membership of the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council