Special Message From Rabbi Hyman
Below are the poignant and penetrating words written by the great teacher and sage, Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav. Clearly, his words speak to us and move us in the aftermath of Buffalo and Uvalde.
Yet again, we have had horror forced upon us. Yet again, we stand witness to a tragedy that defies understanding on many different levels. Yet again, we stand frustrated and angry, confused and exasperated. Columbine took place in 1999. Sandy Hook happened in 2012 and was followed by the horrors of the Pulse Night Club in 2016, Las Vegas in 2017, Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 2018, and Tree of Life in 2018 along with other horrifying moments of tragedy and fright.
How long must we, as Americans, as a nation, as a society, as citizens, and as people suffer from this epidemic of gun violence? We are “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” We are “the shining city on the hill.” How painful and embarrassing is this reality.
Last week, Senator Chris Murphy addressed his colleagues, urging them to take action and respond to this national crisis. As he spoke to them, tears were streaming down his cheeks. Senator Murphy’s first experience with the horrors of a mass shooting involving young children was at Sandy Hook.
We must communicate clearly, powerfully and unambiguously to our elected leaders that change must occur, that they must enact legislation that responds to the issue of gun acquisition and gun ownership.
Sane gun legislation is in no way a threat to nor an attack on the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Sane gun legislation is a statement communicating that human life is valuable, important, and precious, and the protecting and preserving of life is the ultimate priority and our ultimate responsibility.
Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav wrote:
May it be Your will,
Holy One, our God, our ancestors’ God,
that you erase war and bloodshed from the world
and in its place draw down
a great and glorious peace
so that nation shall not lift up sword against nation
neither shall they learn war anymore.
Rather, may all the inhabitants of the earth
recognize and deeply know
this great truth:
that we have not come into this world
for strife and division
nor for hatred and rage,
nor provocation and bloodshed.
We have come here only
to encounter You,
eternally blessed One.
we ask your compassion upon us;
raise up, by us, what is written:
I shall place peace upon the earth
and you shall lie down safe and undisturbed
and I shall banish evil beasts from the earth
and the sword shall not pass through your land.
but let justice come in waves like water
and righteousness flow like a river,
for the earth shall be full
of the knowledge of the Holy One
as the waters cover the sea.
So may it be.
And we say:
Rabbi Nachman’s words touch our hearts and speak directly to the reality of our time and age. May we have the vision and the strength, the courage, and the fortitude to legislate, implement and enact the change that is so desperately needed.
The Book of Proverbs reminds us: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
L’shalom – For the sake of Peace,
Rabbi Peter E. Hyman
The Home of Temple B’nai Israel
Welcome to Temple B’nai Israel, the Satell Center for Jewish Life on the Eastern Shore. Visit to meet us and enjoy our activities. We have occupied our new home since June, 2018, and it has more than fulfilled our expectations. It is so much more than a space for religious services. Our Temple is home to a variety of activities, including religious school and adult education, special lectures with guest speakers, a book club, a variety of social activities, films, music, and a meeting place for community activities. We welcome interfaith couples and support an active, visible presence on the Mid-Shore.
Rabbi Peter Hyman has been with the congregation since 2008, our first full time Rabbi. He has had a major impact in making B’nai Israel a central part of the inter-faith community.
We look forward to greeting you with the warm welcome of an intimate, friendly and easily approachable congregation. Join us and share your ideas and energy and become part of our growth on the Eastern Shore.