On the first Friday evening of 2020, members of Congregation P’Nai Tikvah were setting up for Shabbat services. The mood was somber. After all the shootings and other antisemitic acts that had taken place here in the United States and around the world, it was hard to bring the joy that one should have in welcoming the Sabbath. Although we are fortunate to be in a very safe venue, we wondered who might come and who might stay at home in fear. Would the haters win?
At precisely 7:30 p.m., as we were about to begin, some dozen new people appeared. To our surprise and delight it was the board and some members of Indigo Valley Church led by their own Rev. Dr. Charlotte Morgan. Pastor Char told us that they were following the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel of blessed memory who taught us all to “Pray with our feet.”
They had come to pray with us, to help us feel less alone. They sang along to “Let There Be Peace On Earth,” led by Cantor Marla Goldberg, danced with us and broke bread with Reb Jamie Hyams.
During announcements, Congregation P’Nai Tikvah Vice President Judi Stotland said she was reminded of the words of Mr. Fred Rogers: “In hard or scary times, look for the helpers. There are always helpers.”
We are grateful for our dear friends at Indigo Valley Church for helping transform a time of tension to an especially joyous Shabbat.