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Bringing light and love into the world

01/16/2019 01:18:22 PM


Rabbi Allison Berry

This past Sunday, five anti-Semitic fliers were found in book-exchange boxes around Newton. City Hall and the Newton Police Department were in touch with our congregation about the incident to share unequivocally that hate has no home in our community. However, as we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, the need for all of us to fight anti-Semitism, racism and hate in all its forms is ever more clear. Dr King taught us that we must approach our neighbors with kindness, civility and respect. His words, his deeds and his strength continue to compel and inspire us to build a better world.

On Monday at 9:30 a.m., Newton will celebrate and memorialize Dr. King at a remembrance ceremony held at the First Baptist Church in Newton Centre. For those who have not attended this annual event, it is a meaningful moment to hear some great music, be inspired by the insights of young people from the Newton schools and for us to recognize the rich diversity and strength of our city as we strive to counter hate and intolerance. We invite you to join us!

At this moment, Temple Shalom’s relationship with our neighbors of other faith traditions is strong. Rabbi Abrasley and I are proud members of the Newton Interfaith Clergy Association (NICA). As one of four coordinators of the group, I share with you the statement we crafted and released to the media and City Hall regarding the incident this past weekend:

“United with all the citizens of Newton who embody good will, the leadership of the Newton Interfaith Clergy Association unequivocally condemns the anti-Semitic fliers and expressions appearing in our beloved city this early week in January. Our Jewish and Christian leadership, along with our Bahai, Buddhist, Muslim, Unitarian and diverse colleagues and neighbors, work together for civility, comity and a community conscience of respect. We make no space for intolerance and assault. On Monday, we will gather to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. These are his words, and we commit to follow them: 'Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.'

In the face of intolerance and hate, may we continue to work to bring light and love to the world

Wed, June 19 2019 16 Sivan 5779