Author Topic: Care of our Jewish Neighbors  (Read 4576 times)

Eileen Smith

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Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« on: October 27, 2018, 05:49:27 PM »
The following was sent out by Bishop Elizabeth Eaton this evening.  It seemed worth sharing.   Bishop Eaton advocates reaching out with acts/messages of love to those of the Jewish faith in our communities.  I think it's a worthwhile idea -- not simply on the clergy level but perhaps laity could, as well, be encouraged to share a note, a phone call, an email or an act of kindness with Jewish friends or members of the community.   Could a grass-roots effort of the church encourage civility among us? 

October 27, 2018

 Dear Sisters and Brothers,

I write to you with a broken heart – for the lives lost, wounded, and shattered by horrific hatred and violence at Tree of Life Congregation this morning. We join our Jewish neighbors and enter into mourning for all that has been lost. In our grief, God is our comfort. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

From Pittsburgh to Portland, and around the world, Jews are living in fear. Anti-Semitism is on the rise. Public acts of hatred and bigotry against Jews are commonplace. As Christians, and particularly as Lutherans, we deplore and reject this bigotry. “We recognize in anti-Semitism a contradiction and affront to the Gospel, a violation of our hope and calling, and we pledge this church to oppose the deadly working of such bigotry, both within our own circles and in the society around us” (1994 Declaration of the ELCA to the Jewish Community).

We are reminded that hate-filled violence knows no bounds – whether a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, a Christian church in Charleston, or a Jewish synagogue In Pittsburgh. As people of faith, we are bound together not only in our mourning, but also in our response. 

Therefore, in this tender moment of grief, let us reach out to those whose hearts are most broken – our Jewish neighbors. I encourage you to contact your local synagogue, or your Jewish colleagues, friends, and family members, to share your words of care, support, love, and protection. There may be specific acts you might offer to demonstrate your care, such as when the members of Faith Lutheran Church surrounded Congregation Beth Israel of Chico, California, serving as Shomrim, or guardians, as they observed Yom Kippur following a hate crime in 2009.

Such simple acts can go a long way to demonstrate our love, as an extension of God’s love. As we seek to heal the brokenhearted, we are assured that God is near. There is no greater promise in the face of grief.

In peace,

ElizabethEaton

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2018, 06:40:19 PM »
Very good. The only quibble is a view that, around the world, Jews live in fear. No, they do not. From Israel to around the world, the Jewish people are a brave lot, never to be intimidated. I have many Jewish friends, I dated a Jewish woman, I’ve worked with many Jewish men and women over the years. They do not live in fear.

We will remember this tragedy in our Prayer for the Church tomorrow.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 06:47:37 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2018, 06:59:32 PM »
Good words from PB Eaton.  Whether or not Jews live in fear is up to them.  That Jews have much that they could well fear is a fact of life.  In many places Jews have and continued to be threatened.  Israel lives amidst enemies, some who have made it a national goal to eliminate them as a nation and as a people.  Christians also in some places live under constant threat.  May God be with His people.
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James S. Rustad

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2018, 12:21:22 PM »
Israel's recent response to terrorism was to make it easier for good guys to carry guns:

Many citizens have saved lives during terror attacks, and in the era of ‘lone-wolf’ attacks, the more qualified gun-carrying citizens there are, the better the chance to stop terror attacks without casualties and reduce the number of casualties.

Dan Fienen

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2018, 02:10:27 PM »
I've come to realize that part of Israel's problem with world opinion is that they are too good at defending their people.  Perhaps if more of the terrorist attacks, rocket launches, cross border raids produced Israeli casualties that they can then point to as how their people are suffering, there would be more sympathy with their self-defense.
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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2018, 02:22:17 PM »
Israel's recent response to terrorism was to make it easier for good guys to carry guns:

Many citizens have saved lives during terror attacks, and in the era of ‘lone-wolf’ attacks, the more qualified gun-carrying citizens there are, the better the chance to stop terror attacks without casualties and reduce the number of casualties.

Contrast this with Obama's comment on the Pittsburgh attack. "And we have to stop making it so easy for those who want to harm the innocent to get their hands on a gun."
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

gan ainm

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2018, 02:44:13 PM »
Israel's recent response to terrorism was to make it easier for good guys to carry guns:

Many citizens have saved lives during terror attacks, and in the era of ‘lone-wolf’ attacks, the more qualified gun-carrying citizens there are, the better the chance to stop terror attacks without casualties and reduce the number of casualties.

Contrast this with Obama's comment on the Pittsburgh attack. "And we have to stop making it so easy for those who want to harm the innocent to get their hands on a gun."

Points out the difference between those who recognize the reality of who is most capable and readily available to stop the bad guys and those who pine for utopia on this side of heaven by thwarting the good guys.  (But we must never let those nasty little facts hinder the SJW types in the quest for creating heaven on earth.)

 
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 02:45:53 PM by gan ainm »

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2018, 03:46:53 PM »
Israel's recent response to terrorism was to make it easier for good guys to carry guns:

[quote="Israel's Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan"Many citizens have saved lives during terror attacks, and in the era of ‘lone-wolf’ attacks, the more qualified gun-carrying citizens there are, the better the chance to stop terror attacks without casualties and reduce the number of casualties.

All Israeli citizens over age 18 who are Jewish, Druze, or Circassian are conscripted into the military for at least two years. They will have training in the proper use of firearms. What if we conscripted all American citizens for military duty and training; and those who are deemed unfit to serve because of mental or physical health reasons are also not permitted to buy guns or ammunition?

Such a "what if" rightfully would be struck down by the Court.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 06:31:19 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Weedon

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2018, 04:46:44 PM »
LET US PRAY for all affected by the violence in Pittsburgh:

God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, we grieve for those of Your ancient people whose lives were taken yesterday as they came together on the Sabbath. Grant mercy to the mourning, peace to the traumatized, and healing to the injured. Bring to an end the violence and hatred inflicted upon people because of their faith. Open hearts to welcome and rejoice in the peace that is finally only found in Him who once came among us in the flesh, as the prophets had long promised, whose own flesh was torn and whose blood was shed to bring the gift of God's love to all people, uniting them in Himself, the Blessed Seed of Abraham, even Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

[From LCMS FB Page]

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2018, 05:31:26 PM »
The office of the Greek Metropolis of Pittsburgh is located just a mile and half from the shooting scene.

My Priest shared with the congregation that, just a couple of weeks ago, our Metropolitan was standing along the street at the office waiting to cross, wearing the customary black Bishop's cassock.  With his curly white beard, his appearance could be considered rabbinical.

A passing car slowed, the window rolled down and the driver shouted "F*****g Jew!" , then sped off.

Perhaps this was the perpetrator of Saturday's shooting.

Perhaps not.

The chill across the Keystone State today is not just the northwest wind.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 06:58:23 PM by J. Thomas Shelley »
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Dave Likeness

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2018, 06:44:08 PM »
My only Jewish acquantance is MLB Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax. He was a Brooklyn/L.A.Dodger
who won three Cy Young Awards. I personally got his autograph when the L.A. Dodgers played
 the Braves in Milwaukee.

As an outstanding Jewish athlete , Koufax is remembered for refusing to be the starting pitcher
in game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kipper.

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2018, 08:47:59 AM »
Israel's recent response to terrorism was to make it easier for good guys to carry guns:

Many citizens have saved lives during terror attacks, and in the era of ‘lone-wolf’ attacks, the more qualified gun-carrying citizens there are, the better the chance to stop terror attacks without casualties and reduce the number of casualties.

Another example:

Armed dad takes down masked shooter at McDonald's as kids, customers watch

https://www.foxnews.com/us/alabama-mcdonalds-gunman-killed-by-armed-dad-who-is-injured-in-shootout
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2018, 10:28:19 AM »
This is the message I sent to the Concordia University Chicago community:

Concordia Family,

Today I write to you with a heavy heart. This past week has been marred by both threats of violence and horrifying acts of murder. Last week, an individual was arrested and charged with mailing bombs to high profile individuals. On Saturday, at Tree of Life Synagogue near Pittsburgh, eleven of our fellow citizens were brutally murdered because of their religion. These inhuman actions join a growing list of violent political acts and violent acts against houses of worship – Jewish, Islamic and Christian. Kyrie eleison! Lord have mercy!

On October 31, we will remember the 501st anniversary of the Reformation. It too was a time of both political and religious violence and hatred. Each generation is painfully reminded that, ever since Cain murdered his brother Abel in Genesis 4, our human race is not only sinful but violently sinful. Yet God has embraced our sinful world with love and even became victim to murderous human evil by sending His Son to be crucified by and in place of fallen humanity. Yet murderous evil, the outgrowth of human sin, could not defeat the power of divine love as Jesus rose from death on Easter.

Luther wrote in the Small Catechism about the 5th Commandment (“You shall not murder”) these words, “What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but help and support him in every physical need. ” Please join me in prayer:

•   For the survivors and loved ones of the victims at Tree of Life Synagogue and the entire Pittsburgh community
•   For those that contemplate political or religious violence that God would turn their hearts to ways of peace
•   For law enforcement and first responders who risk their lives by heading toward the sound of gunfire
•   For ourselves that we not only never hurt or harm our neighbor but have the courage to help and support them in both words and deeds

May the God of peace grant us peace!
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 11:19:48 AM by Daniel L. Gard »

Dan Fienen

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2018, 10:55:29 AM »
Thank you Dr. Gard for your good words.
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mariemeyer

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2018, 12:21:38 PM »
For your information and thought - Marie Meyer

From Bend the ARC - Pittsburgh Website

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bend The Arc: Pittsburgh
We are the Pittsburgh affiliate of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice.

President Trump:

Yesterday, a gunman slaughtered 11 Americans during Shabbat morning services. We mourn with the victims’ families and pray for the wounded. Here in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, we express gratitude for the first responders and for the outpouring of support from our neighbors near and far. We are committed to healing as a community while we recommit ourselves to repairing our nation.

For the past three years your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement. You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence. 

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism.

Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted.  You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country. 

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you stop targeting and endangering all minorities.

The murderer’s last public statement invoked the compassionate work of the Jewish refugee service HIAS at the end of a week in which you spread lies and sowed fear about migrant families in Central America. He killed Jews in order to undermine the efforts of all those who find shared humanity with immigrants and refugees.

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you cease your assault on immigrants and refugees.

The Torah teaches that every human being is made b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God.

This means all of us.

In our neighbors, Americans, and people worldwide who have reached out to give our community strength, there we find the image of God.  While we cannot speak for all Pittsburghers, or even all Jewish Pittsburghers, we know we speak for a diverse and unified group when we say:

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you commit yourself to compassionate, democratic policies that recognize the dignity of all of us.