We learn the limit of words in the wake of an evil so horrific as the recent massacre in Israel. We also learn the necessity of words, and of kindnesses expressed through actions seen and unseen.
I have no illusions that any words written here can offer a measure of solace to all of you in our community who are suffering, in a deeply personal way, pain and fear because of this attack. Still, I offer them in the humble hope that you will at least feel seen and acknowledged by a community that cares about you.
At a time when the most common hate crime in America is anti-Semitism, and when the voices of anti-Semitism have already seized this moment to clamor for more hatred and violence, I want to affirm that we hold our Jewish brothers and sisters close in our community of belonging in San Diego.
In my time here, I have seen time and again how the Jewish community extends the most generous and loving of hands to all of San Diego through its exemplary philanthropy and through the efforts of organizations like Jewish Family Services, which help everyone regardless of their religion, ethnicity, and whether they are San Diegans who have lost their homes and their way or asylum seekers on their way to new homes and new lives.
That giving and embracing spirit defines belonging, and it defines community, and it defines the very best of San Diego.
What has been unleashed in Israel in recent days will cause all the horror and pain that war brings, and we can have little to do or say about that now. But we can say that here, in our home, in our community, we suffer alongside those who suffer, we shun hatred and acts of hatred, and we aspire to a vision of community in which everyone feels safe in their sense of belonging here.
The Jewish prayer for the State of Israel imagines a future of peace in the land and happiness for all its residents. May that be true everywhere, and may the hard work of delivering on that promise for a troubled world begin here, with us, in acts of kindness, understanding, and love.