Jews guard Shabbat. We observe it, in ways ranging from halachic to self care-centric. We kindle its lights, we make it beautiful, and we keep it holy. And this week, the American Jewish Committee (AJC), a Jewish advocacy group, is encouraging us to “#showupforshabbat.”
The social media initiative has taken off as Jews and non-Jews alike plan to show solidarity this coming Shabbat with the Pittsburgh Jewish community. After the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting over the weekend, the AJC argues, one of our greatest tools may just be showing up.
“What could be a more fitting response to the terror in Pittsburgh? We are not afraid. We are not going to think twice about affirming our identity and faith. We are not alone,” AJC CEO David Harris wrote in a press release.
Non-Jews, too, are welcome to show their solidarity in services — as they are every week, at every Jewish service. But as Rabbi Ruti Regan cautions below, this Shabbat is a good time to remember that racial profiling has zero place in Judaism and Jewish spaces.
Hey, Jewish communities participating in #ShowUpForShabbat? Please keep in mind that Jews of color are Jews. Please don’t assume that unfamiliar people of color who come to synagogue this week aren’t Jewish. Jews seeking community in the wake of tragedy shouldn’t face racism too.— Rabbi Ruti Regan ?️?♀?? (@RutiRegan) October 29, 2018
This tribute feels right, because from what I’ve read, those who died yesterday didn’t just #ShowUpForShabbat, but were the first ones there to help make a minyan. They were the ones who always made the effort to show up. May their memory inspire us. https://t.co/hVBy9e1n19— Elyse Ross Weiss (@er2225) October 28, 2018
Synagogues across America and around the world will be mourning the loss of the 11 Jews at Tree of Life in Pittsburgh and reckoning with the explicit and implicit forms of anti-Semitism in our culture. Come join in — they need you to make the minyan.
Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny