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147http://www.beth-israel.org/blog/2013/05/RabbiLyonsBlog-05_10_2013
Rabbi Lyon's Blog - 05_17_2013
05/16/2013 09:55 AM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon
May 17, 2013

 

The HPD arrested the perpetrator who threatened Beth Israel two weeks ago. A 32 year-old African American, who claimed that blacks are the true Jewish people and threatened the safety of our congregational community, was arrested and his bond was set at $115,000. His phoned-in threat on May 1st, which was made public in the recent news report of his arrest, was sinister and terroristic. Today, the whole Houston community is safer with him off the street. The HPD is to be commended for their role. Upon hearing the news of an arrest, the ADL made the following statement:

“From the moment the bomb threats were reported to the Houston Police Department and the FBI, it was clear they took the threats very seriously,” said ADL Southwest Regional Director Martin B. Cominsky. “They immediately worked to ensure the safety of the institutions and people involved, and apparently moved quickly to identify and arrest a suspect. We understand the hard work of the Houston Police Department’s Hate Crimes Division was instrumental in solving this case, and we’d like to thank them and others involved. Law enforcement has sent a clear message that these types of threats will be thoroughly investigated and won’t be tolerated.”

 

                There is no “us” and “them” in Houston. As long as I’ve served in Houston, there has never failed to be an interfaith network of clergy and religious institutions. Together, we’ve demonstrated that those who can accommodate a universal ethic by reaching beyond particular religious teachings will be the beneficiaries of all this city has to offer. In this environment, all who bear witness to their faiths through worship and deeds will find fertile ground for spiritual growth and well-being. There is no need to conquer each other and there is no place for hate among us.

                If you are new to interfaith possibilities, I urge you to do some internet reading. Here are three websites that I recommend to you and organizations you should consider joining.

 

                www.adl.org/southwest (Southwest Anti-Defamation League)

                www.ajchouston.org (American Jewish Committee Houston)

                www.imgh.org (Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston)

 

                Congregation Beth Israel stands with all faith traditions and their respective houses of worship to combat hate and to build understanding. Let us bring honor to God, not by loving God and hating our neighbors; but by loving God by loving our neighbors.

                As Shabbat comes into our hearts and our homes, let us rest easier knowing that justice prevails in Houston, our city and our home. Baruch Atah Adonai, thank You, God, for the men and women who work on our behalf to restore justice and safety. Baruch Atah Adonai, thank You, God, for the blessing of peace.

                From my family to yours, Shabbat Shalom.

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