By Deana Kobrynski and Salina Greene
On Friday, October 16, this D’var Torah was presented at Beth Emet Synagogue in Evanston, by Deana Kobrysnki and Salina Greene. Both are members of Beth Emet and active members of JCUA. They connected last week’s parsha, Noach, to the Trauma Care Campaign and L’Chaim: JCUA’s upcoming community meeting. Join us November 1!
The story of Noah falls after the high holy days and continues the theme of renewal and return to G-D. In Noach, the Earth has become corrupt before G-D, the earth was filled with violence. Noah is chosen, the ark is built and then rain came for 40 days and nights. As water possesses the ability to purify; the earth is renewed; humanity can begin again.
So humanity begins anew, as do we after the high holy days each year. What promises have we made to ourselves and each other to begin anew? What is our flood during these times? Is it the violence that confronts us here and abroad? Thousands flee war torn areas in the middle east to safer ground. Here in the states poverty and despair drive chamas, or lawlessness. I cannot help but make parallels to the gun violence in Chicago and the lack of infrastructure to take care of our most needy communities. This is our flood, the senseless killings. So what can we do to find higher ground?
As a person who is interested in making the world a better place I have sought groups that furthered social justice. In 2011 I found a home at Beth Emet, and this year I joined Jewish Council of Urban Affairs.
Since joining our synagogue, I’ve seen how Beth Emet works to build authentic relationships with Evanston’s Black communities. I’ve also learned from JCUA’s organizing campaigns how the Jewish community can play a meaningful role in addressing structural racism. And both have demonstrated that as we build these bridges, we should actively listen to and act on what communities of color are calling for. Read the rest of this entry »