What Love Does

This past weekend, there was an act of terror, an act of hate, an act of anti-Semitism spray painted on the walls of a storage shed at a local synagogue - Congregation Shaarey Tefilla. 

This act was no simple act of vandalism. No, this act was designed to intimidate and spark panic in the community and fear in the hearts of the good people of this congregation. Those who spray painted hate on those walls knew exactly what they were doing. This was no juvenile prank.

Whatever the hopes of the perpetrators, they were dashed when over 1,000 concerned citizens, community leaders, and congregation members packed the worship space at Shaarey Tefilla two days later. It was literally standing room only. 
And we stood - together. 
We stood in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. 
We stood in strength of our commitment to one another. 
We stood in promise that we will be there for one another. 
We stood,
Jews,
Christians,
Muslims,
Jains,
Hindus,
Sikhs,
People who aren’t part of a faith community,
Atheists,
Gay,
Straight,
Bi,
Trans,
We stood.
All were there to say ENOUGH!

Several leaders spoke to those gathered. 
They reminded us of the strength we have. 
They reminded us that hate will never win. 
They reminded us of the work that is ahead of us. 
They reminded us that we must not 
   sit down, 
   shut up, 
   or stop working for a better tomorrow. 

Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow said, "A sleeping giant has been awakened through love, acceptance, and mutual respect." 
Upon looking at the crowd gathered another speaker reminded us of the Dinos Christianopoulos quote, "They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds." 
We were seeds, indeed! 
And on this night you could hear the roots of hope spreading wide and deep. 
That which was meant to destroy has only strengthened our resolve. 
We will not go away. 
Neither will we stop.

When acts of hate 
   try to drive a wedge between us; 
when acts of terror 
   try to make us cower in fear; 
when acts of prejudice 
   try to intimidate us into inaction
this is what love does. 


Love shows up.
Love stands up.
Love speaks up.


No matter who.
No matter where.
No matter when.


We are stronger together.
This is who we are.
This is what love looks like.

This is what love does.

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