by Rabbi Paula Marcus

I wrote this poem in the wake of this month’s shootings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and included them in the remarks I gave at a community peace rally last week to pledge against violence. I have been invited to speak at the local Sikh Temple within the next few weeks, and our congregation, Temple Beth El in Aptos, CA, is inviting someone from their community to speak at our synagogue. Our congregation has been involved in a number of interfaith activities that grew out of our community organizing with Just Congregations.

“So That None Stand Alone”

When tragedy strikes our brothers and sisters we call out to you
In our misery and pain we reach for words of comfort and love
For the broken world we inhabit, we pray for strength and compassion
To do what is right at this moment and in all of the moments ahead
When our hearts are broken, may this opening lead to understanding
May we remain steadfast in our commitment to lifting each spirit towards the truth of all faiths
May we remember this work is not easy
That the times of deep sadness do not erase the joy found in our friendship
That the only path to peace is through standing together, so that none stand alone.

Rabbi Paula Marcus is a rabbi and cantorial soloist at Temple Beth El in Aptos, CA.