We are still reeling, heartbroken, outraged, numb – so many different feelings in our hearts and bodies since the terror attacks in Israel. Some of us were confronted with hate speech at a recent Vallejo City Council meeting; some are still confronted with intimidation in their neighborhoods and on the streets. But there is hope and comfort to help support our resilience and sustain us in the days to come.
We are now in the month of Tevet, which has a minor fast day to remember the siege of Jerusalem, which ultimately led to the destruction of the First Temple. We might also consider our bodies that house our souls as a temple, and this month, try to affirm and commit to respectful treatment of our bodies. This includes the nutrition, exercise, and spiritual/community connections to help us build our strength to get through this ongoing trauma to our Jewish community.
We held a virtual and in-person session this month in our library with a professional facilitator to explore our trauma in a supportive community of members, and being able to talk about our experiences with each other was invaluable. We are willing to do this more, so reach out to me if you are interested in a time to gather and support each other.
We have been expanding our relationships this past month, counting on our Common Ground relationships (with support from St. Paul’s in Benicia during our Hanukkah Menorah Lightings), relationships with Chabad and the greater Jewish community of Solano County (at the council meeting – more later), and connections to other synagogues in Napa County and West Contra Costa County. We need to build these relationships to gain strength in our Jewish community in order to stand strong against rising antisemitism. We will continue to grow these ties, give support, and seek new allies.
Let’s keep our lights burning, share with each other, and remember we have strength in numbers. Am Israel Chai!
– Cheryl Gewing