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Sixth & I

From Dancing to Mourning

Oct 7, 2023 • 8:00 pm ET
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“Gone is the joy of our hearts; Our dancing is turned into mourning.” (Eicha/Lamentations 5:15)

Tonight, we were supposed to transition into the holiday of Simchat Torah, defined by joyous dancing and singing. That joy is tempered this year. As many of you have likely heard by now, this Shabbat morning, Hamas militants attacked communities across Israel, leaving many dead and many more wounded. Today is a heartbreaking, devastating day. We mourn the catastrophic losses and fear for what may still be to come.

Jews across the world this morning, which is also the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, read from the book of Kohelet/Ecclesiastes (3:4). It contains the powerful reminder: Eit Lispoad, V’eit Lirkod, which translates to, “There is a time for grieving, and there is a time for dancing.”

We will still gather together tonight in community. We will still mark Simchat Torah. But it will be different than a typical Simchat Torah. Rabbis Aaron and Nora will hold space to grieve and to pray for healing, for the de-escalation of violence, and for peace.