Today, in Jerusalem, Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie is standing in solidarity with all human suffering, observing the Jewish fast day of the Tenth of Tevet that remembers the ravages of war.

I am joining an interfaith vigil to mourn all innocent civilians killed on and since 10/7, and lighting candles to honor all souls, welcome the Sabbath, and pray for peace to prevail.

I’m fasting today (12/22/23), as has been done on this day for 2,600 years, to keep processing that ancient and lingering trauma, to hold space for the immense pain of the current crisis, and to make space for the healing of our the people living on the holy land, bound up with each other’s histories, hurts and hopes.

I invite you to watch a special version of my weekly video wrapping up this week’s @belowthebiblebelt929 journey with the prophet Ezekiel. This video includes words on why this fast matters more this year, an invitation to be part of a unique online interfaith grief vigil held online today and additional reflections on this day in history, including how the Mourners Kaddish has its roots in the prophetic visions of the Ezekiel – eyewitness to horrific history who refused to give up on hope in a broken world.

To join the interfaith vigil to honor the dead and bear witness to the suffering of the living, created by my friend and teacher, Rabbi Regina Sandler-Phillips, founder of ‘Ways of Peace’, please see more info Lab/Shul’s Instagram account (@labshul).

Ahead of Christmas, into Shabbat, while this cruel war continues to devastate so many lives and sow sorrow – may we find comfort, be each others’ healing, celebrate each sacred moment of life, raise sparks of joy, demand peace and lift up hope. Shabbat Shalom.

How Collective Kaddish for the Dead Was Born Today
From Jerusalem: A Special Shabbat Message and Interfaith Vigil Invitation