Dear Oheb Sholom Family,

I know that many of you, as I am, are watching what has been happening In Washington, DC and at the U.S. Capitol.

Peaceful protest is a hallmark and sacred right that we enjoy as Americans and that right must be defended.  However, I believe that we can all agree that it is distressing to see our Capitol, our seat of government, be breached by an angry mob.  Hearing stories of our elected officials forced to barricade the door of the House and Senate chambers in fear makes me sick.  This is not who we are as a country.

I offer these words as the situation develops:

O God, You have called us to peace, for You are Peace.

Grant us the vision to realize these aims:

Where there is ignorance and superstition, let there be enlightenment and knowledge.

Where there are prejudice and hatred, let there be acceptance and love.

Where there is fear and suspicion, let there be confidence and trust.

Where there are tyranny and oppression, let there be freedom and justice.

Where there are poverty and disease, let there be prosperity and health.

Where there are strife and discord, let there be harmony and peace.

(from Mishkan T’filah)

Mi shebeirakh avoteinu v’imoteinu — May the One who blessed our ancestors, bless our country at this difficult time.  May our representatives, their staffs, and all those who work on behalf of our country be safe and may the work of our country continue safely and peacefully.

May we all be blessed and safe,

Rabbi Brian I. Michelson