Grieving With Israel

JCRC Statement

Dear Friends,

As we enter a somber Shabbat for the Jewish people, we are still reeling from the tragic loss of life at Mount Meron in Israel during a celebration of Lag Ba’Omer. Many families are still searching for their loved ones, while others are caring for the seriously injured, or grieving.

The weight of this peacetime tragedy is especially heavy; it is a terrible reminder of the fragility of life. We pray for the swift recovery of those who suffered injuries, and we mourn those who lost their lives during what should have been a time of joy – especially after a year of such dread.

The celebration at Mount Meron was supposed to be an uplifting one, a moment of joy during the otherwise somber time of counting the omer. This period of time between Passover and Shavuot is mentioned in this week’s Torah portion, Emor, and is a time when many Jews refrain from joyous occasions. The exception is the 33rd day of this seven-week time period, Lag Ba’Omer, a day that marked the end of an historic plague. This year’s celebration at Mount Meron was especially poignant as it was the first large gathering since the beginning of the modern pandemic.

Yet it is encouraging and meaningful how all Israelis – regardless of their religious or political beliefs and cultural practices – have come together to help.

This morning, the JCRC made a donation to Magen David Adom to aid recovery efforts. You can make a donation here.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ron Halber
Executive Director, JCRC of Greater Washington