The International news constantly reminds us of how pervasive antisemitism is in our world today. I sway between extreme anger at the senselessness of it and fear that we are doomed to repeat the worst part of our most recent past. And then like a spark of inspiration, I read an article about Rabbi Akiva, one of Judaism’s greatest sages, who represents the love of Torah and devotion to Jewish identity.
“The Sages taught: One time, after the Bar Kochba rebellion, the evil empire of Rome decreed that Israel may not engage in the study and practice of Torah. Pappos ben Yehuda came and found Rabbi Akiva, who was convening assemblies in public and engaging in Torah study. Pappos said to him: “Akiva, are you not afraid of the empire?”
Rabbi Akiva answered him: “I will relate a parable. To what can this be compared? It is like a fox walking along a riverbank when he sees fish gathering and fleeing from place to place. The fox said to them: ‘From what are you fleeing?’ They said to him: ‘We are fleeing from the nets that people cast upon us.’ The fox said to them: ‘Do you wish to come up onto dry land, and we will reside together just as my ancestors resided with your ancestors?’ The fish said to him: ‘You are the one of whom they say, he is the cleverest of animals? You are not clever; you are a fool. If we are afraid in the water, our natural habitat which gives us life, then in a habitat that causes our death, all the more so.
(Full article) . https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/rabbi-akiba/utm_source=mjl_maropost&utm_campaign=MJL&utm_medium=email
For me, this message is that comfort does not come from hiding our Jewish identity in a world that feels chaotic, and unstable, but rather through our faith and our connection with G-d. Fear does not offer protection, but wisdom and deep faith gives us the strength to stand up for what is right.
Here are some of the ways you can take action : https://www.adl.org/take-action-global-100
COUNTING THE OMER:
Don’t forget to count the Omer each evening at sundown.
Here is a great app to help you remember each day with a special meditation. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.chabad.OmerCounter&hl=en_US&gl=US
MAY / IYYAR YAHRZEITS:
Rose Miller Altman May 2 1 Iyyar
Leah Pillersdorf Gilbert May 2 1 Iyyar
Moses Steinbok May 5 4 Iyyar
Mary Altman Speisman May 15 14 Iyyar
Srul (Jacob) Bernstein May 7 16 Iyyar
Zvi (Harry) Burak May 7 16 Iyyar
Edna Altman Pillersdorf May 21 20 Iyyar
This week Friday night’s service will be on ZOOM ONLY at 6:30 PM. To join us please click this link.
Please click this link for a copy of our siddur.
President, Barbados Jewish Community