Thanks to my friend Len Muroff who initiated the translation of this article and who helped me doing it!
Last Friday, we were over 60 people at our east Paris synagogue for an interfaith dinner that allowed us to create direct links with women, men and children of all religious and philosophical backgrounds.
This past Friday while returning from synagogue, we heard the sirens of police and ambulances. Now, we are sad and shocked that human stupidity could make so many victims. We are in national mourning. We feel so powerless.
Both events illustrate a reality that we all know: As humans, we are capable of the worst and the best.
How can we increase our ability to bring out our best? How can we contain and defuse the risk of bringing out the worst?
In the short term, the destroyers may seem to be the winners. It is easy for cowards to attack by surprise. No glory in that. It would be criminal to add to the notoreity of the terrorists. We must continue to ignore their names. We must apply the injunction to « erase the name of Amalek.”
Our service the morning after, was infused with values which we have been struggling for years: Equality between men and women, the inseparable link between tradition and modernity, the collaboration between prayer/spirituality and civic activism, the supremacy of education and peace.
In order to remain truly engaged, we must apply the injunction to remain « woven into the web of life”, we have to be active: we must take care of ourselves, our neighbors, and the strangers, in order to be truly alive.
Let fear not be the hero here. Let us focus the light on real heroism.
Heroism is a daily battle, it is the work of education and non-violence, which we must engage in patiently for ourselves personally and apply to our relationships with others.
Heroism is represented by the Righteous Among the Nations that LICRA (International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism) which we will celebrate on November 22nd, Heroism is found in the tweet « Open doors » (people opened their doors to welcome people fleeing from the terrorists). Heroism is the hundreds of people who went voluntarily to donate blood, Heroism is the ability to pick up the phone to support our families and to strengthen ties, Heroism is the ability to put down the phone when it’s time to recreate an intimate atmosphere in our homes, Heroism is our determination tos defend our French identity as the guarantor of fundamental freedom.
Today we are all united in this fight, a great « army of peace », « tséva shalom ouménouHa ».
We will continue to give meaning to our lives by fighting for inner peace, by being proud of our Jewish and French identities, to defend freedom and the Republic.
Some people make us a target for what we represent.
Nobody has the power to make us into victims, because in reality we are truly solidarity activists.
Thanks to everyone for the daily collaboration that gives meaning to my life.
Rabbi Floriane Chinsky