Muslim Refugees & Immigrants In The Synagogue ( A Note From The Liberal Pew)


Expressing deep shame about the Trump administration’s recent executive decision, yesterday at congregation Ansche Chesed in New York the rabbi voiced strong support of refugees and immigrants from Muslim countries. The expression of this kind of solidarity has a particular resonance in the closed and silent space before God in the synagogue. It was right before the prayer for the United States. In so many words, the rabbi explained that sometimes if not more often than not, in the imperative voice, prayers are said at the ironic point between what we understand and demand to be true and what we recognize as immorally actual. Setting aside every point of genuine difference between Muslims and  Jews over Israel and Palestine, what matters here in this country and now at this moment is common human connection and basic human decency. Congregations should demand and get behind this type of moral leadership from their rabbis, ministers, and priests. The United States should not turn its back on suffering people whose suffering we have done so much to cause. One should expect to hear words of resistance at shul on Shabbat and churches on Sunday in support of our Muslim fellow citizens.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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