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  Progressive Conservative Judaism

Hazzan Lance H Tapper, Hon DMus

Hazzan Lance H Tapper, Hon DMus

Hazzan Lance H. Tapper, Hon DMus Pesah fills our minds this month.  We remember each year at this time what the Seder and our freedom mean to us.  In light of the recent antisemitic tropes that are being replayed in such horrible fashion as to have LA Jews feeling fearful going to the synagogue, it is important for us to realize what this freedom means to us. 

Freedom is not the lack of care or concern.  In fact, freedom means that we must be more vigilant than ever to protect what we have and our belief system from being destroyed by those who are ignorant and racist.  We cannot rest on our laurels and feel that someone else will protect us.  As we have learned from recent tragic events, we cannot stand idly by and let others do our work for us. 

We, at Beth Shalom, have a guard at every function we have in order to make sure our safety and security are taken into account each and every time we meet as a community.  And, I must tell you, we are not alone in this.  Synagogues and Jewish organizations around the world are now doing the same.  When I visited Berlin this last summer, a number (not just 1) of guards were standing outside the synagogue complex to make sure that no one came in who shouldn’t have been there.  And…they were armed and those arms were visible. 

In some ways, this is sad.  In others, it shows our strength and commitment to maintain our values and freedoms that we have paid dearly to achieve.  So, as we remember what our ancestors did for us to have us now be a free people, we must pay this forward, so that the next generation will have the enjoyment of freedom we have.