Solidarity Shabbat

You don’t shoot just one Jew

These are bullets felt around the world.

Through generations.

Pain encoded from

Pittsburgh to Paris, reconstructionist to Lubavitcher

Victim of cossack, concentration camp, Neo-Nazi…

 

You don’t shoot just one Jew

Even when barely a minyan, we fill auditoriums and social halls

Hospitals and forests

Neighborhoods and universities

Each simcha, each shiva

Every triumph, every storm

 

We know hate, though we will never be used to it

We recognize hate, but we do not hide from it

We will blame each other, we will blame goyim, we will blame rabbis, government, even g-d

Because though hate can become familiar, it is something we will never truly understand

 

You don’t kill just one Jew, but neither can you kill us all

Your hate is something we will guard against

We will protect our community from

These shots never deep enough to destroy.

Doubt and blame are surface injuries

Healing as we gather and pray together

Grief already lying in wait, trauma in our DNA

We saw you coming

 

You don’t kill just one Jew,

This is a family that welcomes many at its table

We are those sacrificed and those lost

We live your wounds.

We are refugees and we are minorities,

The resented and the scorned,

We are the heroes and the glorified

We are caravans of the unwanted; and

Rulers of the world

Guardians of the beacon of light on the hill

 

Holding Constitution in one hand and Torah in another,

We honor goodness and justice every day of our lives

That we will not compromise

That no bullet can puncture.

And so we gather the carnage of the righteous and weep

For losses, for innocence, for safety,

We have witnessed where illness and evil meet and travel through the barrel of tragedy.

As we put to rest those we love and those we are, we bless the true judge and accept what is beyond comprehension, and we go on, in gratitude and with lovingkindness.

Because we are strong and because we live, and because BH, that is what we do.

About the Author
Judi Zirin is an attorney and freelance writer in the New York area.
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