“I do have faith we will come out of this a stronger, more committed, more loving congregation,” he said.
Noting that the Hebrew word chesed is translated as “loving kindness,” Folberg explained that “chesed is not an emotion, and chesed is not a sentiment. It’s the way you behave towards somebody you love.”
Rabbi Neil Blumofe of Congregation Agudas Achim said the program was “upbeat” and “positive,” and he drew a connection in his remarks to the upcoming Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, urging people to get to know others in the community.
“We assemble here on the steps of this august State Capitol eager to not just check a box saying we have rallied for kindness today but to commit to transforming our lives in service to each other. We have a great opportunity to get involved and sweeten our days. And as Hanukkah approaches, we have the opportunity to live each day of our precious lives as the gimmel on the Hanukkah dreidel—living all in on every spin,” he said.
“How willing are we to get involved? How strong can our community be if we each took a vested interest in and showed up for our neighbors in different communities across this city?” posed Blumofe. “This Hanukkah, let us not light our lights behind drawn shades; let us not play dreidel without new friends. Hanukkah, especially, is a time for us to publicize the holy bonds we have in helping our entire community prosper.”