Jews Worldwide Unite in Prayer for Peace Following Recent Conflict with Hamas

by Madison Thomas

Jews located far from Israel congregated in synagogues over the weekend, marking their first Shabbat services following the attack by Hamas militants on Israel that has instigated an ongoing conflict. Religious leaders conducted prayers for peace while their congregations shared collective sorrow. Enhanced security measures were observed at numerous synagogues.

Resurfacing Trauma in Jewish Community, According to Pittsburgh Rabbi

The violent conflict instigated by Hamas has ramifications beyond geopolitics for the Jewish diaspora, articulated one Rabbi from the United States. Particularly in Pittsburgh, the recent events have rekindled deeply rooted intergenerational trauma, as the city bears the stain of being the site of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history. Rabbi Daniel Fellman of Temple Sinai highlighted that “the intentions of Hamas are not just to destroy Israel but to annihilate you and me.”

Despite the pervasive anguish, communities globally took to heart the words of an Israeli soldier who encouraged worshippers to “spread this prayer worldwide through song and dance during this Shabbat.”

Fellman delivered a sermon that focused on the biblical narrative of Cain and Abel, emphasizing the fraternal relationship among all human beings. He cautioned that failing to recognize our shared humanity risks perpetuating a cycle of violence akin to the story of Cain and Abel.

Recollection of Prior Trauma in Pittsburgh Synagogue

Rabbi Seth Adelson of Congregation Beth Shalom in Pittsburgh found last week’s attack reminiscent of the 2018 attack on the Tree of Life synagogue. Unlike the shock of the previous attack, the recent events, while heartrending, were sadly plausible. Adelson noted a felt absence of community embrace this time, contrasting it with the supportive atmosphere post-2018 attack.

Nevertheless, the community continues to uphold its rituals; a bar mitzvah took place during Saturday’s service at Beth Shalom. “At times, we celebrate even while mired in grief,” Adelson said.

Increased Security Measures in Berlin Synagogues

In response to the escalated global tensions due to the Hamas attack and Israel’s retaliatory bombings in Gaza, Berlin witnessed a conspicuous enhancement of security in front of synagogues. Social media had also witnessed calls to violently protest against Jewish establishments in Germany.

At Berlin’s Chabad community, law enforcement and private security personnel monitored the premises closely. Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal remarked that the situation is exceptionally challenging for the Jewish community but also mentioned community efforts to protect synagogues.

Indonesian Rabbi Advocates for Peaceful Resolution

The solitary synagogue in Indonesia, a country with a Muslim majority, witnessed prayers for peace led by Rabbi Mordechai Ben Avraham. The rabbi noted that their community remains unfazed because their primary focus is religious practice.

Emotional Services in Miami Beach Synagogue

While his parents sought safety in a secure room in northern Israel, Juval Porat aimed to concentrate on preparing hymns for the first Shabbat services post-Hamas attack at Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach. An atmosphere of collective sorrow permeated the synagogue as prayers were said for peace, safety, and hostages.

Senior Rabbi Gayle Pomerantz named the congregation’s collective feelings—fear, anger, and shock. She emphasized the need for solidarity and support for Israel’s humanitarian endeavors over hatred.

Rabbi Robert Davis underscored this sentiment as he lit a candle for the victims, stating, “The number of candles will never suffice. We must be the lights.”

The coverage of religious matters by Big Big News is supported through a collaboration with The Conversation US, funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. The Associated Press holds sole responsibility for this content.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Global Jewish Unity

What was the significance of the recent Shabbat services mentioned in the text?

The recent Shabbat services were significant because they marked the first gatherings of Jewish communities worldwide after the attack by Hamas militants on Israel, which initiated an ongoing conflict. These services served as a moment of collective prayer for peace and reflection on the traumatic events.

How did the attack by Hamas affect Jewish communities in Pittsburgh?

The attack by Hamas had a profound impact on Jewish communities in Pittsburgh, particularly because the city had previously experienced the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history in 2018. The recent events rekindled trauma and reminded them of the vulnerability of Jewish institutions.

What message did Rabbi Daniel Fellman convey during the services?

Rabbi Daniel Fellman emphasized that Hamas’ intentions go beyond the destruction of Israel; they seek the destruction of the Jewish people. He called for a recognition of the shared humanity among all people, including Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and warned against perpetuating cycles of violence.

How did Jewish communities in Berlin respond to the increased security measures?

Jewish communities in Berlin responded to heightened security measures by gathering at synagogues while law enforcement and private security personnel monitored the premises. The community also organized efforts to protect synagogues in response to calls for violent protests against Jewish establishments.

What was the focus of Rabbi Mordechai Ben Avraham’s message in Indonesia?

Rabbi Mordechai Ben Avraham, leading the only synagogue in Indonesia, advocated for peace and an end to the Israel-Hamas conflict. He emphasized that their community primarily focuses on religious practice and called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

How did the Miami Beach synagogue respond emotionally to the recent events?

The Miami Beach synagogue held emotional services where congregants prayed for peace, safety, and hostages. They acknowledged the collective feelings of fear, anger, and shock. Rabbis encouraged solidarity and support for Israel’s humanitarian efforts rather than hatred.

More about Global Jewish Unity

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BerlinSupporter October 14, 2023 - 7:05 pm

thnk god 4 tight security in berlin, protect synagogues, vry important!

JewishUnity2023 October 15, 2023 - 6:35 am

yeah, n pittsburgh, it’s a big thing 4 dem, dey got so much trauma, so sad!


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