This week will be a hard one, but it will also be a powerful and beautiful one. Among the blessings of the Bay Area is a commitment to diversity. Yes, that can be a truly strange and complicated reality in our Berkeley world, but in this moment of our city's life, it is a blessing we embrace.
This weekend, white supremacists and neo-Nazis are planning to rally in the Bay Area in an attempt to demonstrate their power. We, as a Jewish community, as an American community, as human beings committed to extending love and safety for all, will be part of an enormous response.
Netivot Shalom, along with thousands of sisters and brothers as the "Bay Area Rally Against Hate," will be wiser than to confront hate with anger, better than to lend any of our passion to shouting matches with hatemongers, and greater than the tribal trauma Jews know all too well. I will be speaking about this during a special Drash this coming Shabbat morning at shul. (Todah Rabbah to Edna Stewart, for inviting me to speak in her place, as she was originally scheduled to give the drash this Shabbat.)
We have been here before. We have seen this before. And this Sunday we will love deeply and wisely.
This Sunday, we will follow our beloved friend and fellow CNS member Ben Stern, who has invited us to "stand with courage, kindness, and hope." I will be standing and marching with my hero, Ben, and invite you to join us. We will meet this Sunday, August 27th, at 10:30am, at Oxford and Addison, to join the larger rally. Many other groups will participate in the rally, including the East Bay JCC and Bend the Arc. Please note: We recommend taking public transit or building in extra time; streets nearby will be closed.
As Ben writes:
"In 1938, none stood up in Poland or the world.
In 1978, 60,000 people joined him in Skokie, Illinois.
2017, this Sunday, Ben hopes he will not be standing alone."
Friends, I invite you to join me in answering Ben's call.
We stand with you, Ben, as you stand - as you have always stood - for courage, kindness, and hope for all.