sikhThe Temple Israel family is saddened to learn of the recent murders at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families who senselessly lost their loved ones this week. We know all too well the dangers that stem from ignorance and the failure to defend religious freedom. The fight to be recognized, understood and accepted by our American neighbors was a long and arduous battle for American Jews. The Sikh community, now 500,000 strong in our country, is in the midst of this very struggle. They, often alongside our Muslim friends, have become the religious “other” in our society.  As a community committed to religious freedom, we pray that these days of violence come to an end. But let our prayers not only be from our hearts. Let our prayers be found in our efforts to befriend those of the lesser known religions. Let our prayers be found in our continued efforts to create bridges between houses of worship in our city. Let our prayers be found in our commitment, as proud Americans and faithful Jews, that we will continue to work for a world where the religion one practices is no longer a threat to the freedom one seeks. 

Ufros aleinu, v’al kol yoshvei teivel, sukkat shalom –
Please God, place over us and over all peoples your shelter of peace.  

Photo from Associated Press