By Rabbi Alan Turetz

We are each shaken by yesterday’s unimaginable cataclysm. Joy, freedom, independence, fellowship; all seem fertile ground for evil and madness to wreak their havoc and exact their toll. Our Israeli brothers and sisters are all too familiar with this searingly ironic truth.

In the midst of celebrating the spirit of America initiated in Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, marking that patriotism with an internationally renowned sporting event in a great and historic city, we encountered a surrealistic, twilight zone spectre of destruction, terror and carnage: April 15, 2013 – 2:50 pm.

The bombs, unlike so many others, did not explode in Karachi, Islamabad, Baghdad or Damascus – but in the very heart of the city of Paul Revere and John Adams – a city whose beauty and history has filled us with delight in multiple ways.

We grieve for our fellow citizens and guests forever gone, maimed, damaged, traumatized, dazed and dumbfounded. We honor and salute the fearless valor of first responders and healers.

We have again witnessed the billowing smoke of a post 9/11 world. That smoke, however, can never and will never blind our eyes to the resolve of the biblical poet (Proverbs 6:17): The Lord despises “hands that shed innocent blood.”

We shall and must continue to extend our hands and hearts to those bereaved and in need, draw closer to each other as families and members of our Temple Emeth Community, never be cavalier about the abundance of our blessings and remain more unwavering and vigilant than ever to “safeguard the ideals and free institutions that are the pride and glory of our country.”

Chazakchazak – May we not only find strength but “v’nitchazek” – strengthen each other during these most trying of times.

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