Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are horrified and saddened by the antisemitic terrorist attack carried out upon a synagogue in Halle, Germany by a German white nationalist on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. We mourn the deaths of the two bystanders who were murdered by the perpetrator in the course of his attempts to gain entry to the synagogue: one a person on the street and the other a worker in a nearby kabob restaurant. May their loved ones receive comfort and solidarity as they grieve these senseless murders, and may the memories of those who lost their lives always be a blessing. We are grateful that all those who were attending Yom Kippur services inside the synagogue survived the attack, and we offer solidarity, love, and prayers for their healing from this terrible trauma.
The perpetrator of this act of terror openly proclaimed his toxic ideology of xenophobia, anti-immigrant racism, and antisemitism as part of the attack, and his beliefs closely mirror those of the American white nationalist in Pittsburgh who attacked the Tree Of Life – Or L’Simcha building last year, targeting Tree of Life and New Light congregations, as well as our affiliate, Congregation Dor Hadash, which all met there. We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community of Halle and all Jewish communities across Germany, including the members of our recently affiliated congregation in Wiesbaden, Jüdische Gemeinde Michelsberg (the Jewish Community of Michelsberg). In the haftarah Jews around the world read yesterday, the prophet Isaiah demands that we work to protect and champion the most marginalized in our communities, and that we proactively create a world free of oppression. Where yesterday we prayed, today we are renewed in our determination to work for a world without antisemitism, xenophobia, racism and hate-fueled violence.