Today we found out that last Saturday at 1:30 am, Tikvat Israel, a synagogue in Rockville, MD, was vandalized. A man got out of his car, spray painted swastikas and hateful slogans on the synagogue outer walls, and left. The police are now getting evidence from the synagogue’s video cameras, and will take action as soon as they find the culprit.
We, from congregation Etz Hayim, send our wishes to Tikvat Israel for a speedy resolution to this case and healing from this emotional trauma. And I am baffled. I am angry. I wonder what motivates someone, in the midst of this pandemic, when we are all trying to do our best to eradicate this horrible plague, to go out in the middle of the night and spew hatred on a Synagogue’s property. I know anti-Semitism is irrational. I am angry that instead of taking this time to build and strengthen our fractured world, someone takes his time to create division, instead. Someone spends his time and effort to deepen anger and hurt. And I am incensed that at a time when we all should be pooling our resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the police will be spending precious time and resources trying to solve this case.
I truly hope that the police find the culprit and bring him to justice. Yet I hope that something finds a way to change this man’s heart and eradicates intolerance from the hearts of people that are full of hatred. I pray that the Eternal can plant the seeds of love, of understanding, of cooperative living, and of progress on the haters’ hearts. And as I pray every day for a world filled with health and peace, I pray that we all find a way to partner with God in ridding our world of intolerance, sadness, and hurt. Let’s join our hearts together in a search for positive forces that emphasize the thorough healing of our beautiful world.