BY FREDA MIKLIN
Denver’s Temple Emanuel sanctuary was filled to capacity with hundreds of members of the community, over 30 clergy representing multiple faiths, and more than a dozen elected officials on October 9 in a show of solidarity and support for the victims of the ongoing vicious attack by Hamas terrorists on Israeli civilians that began two days earlier.
The tone of the event, which lasted nearly two hours, was of prayers for peace in Israel and all over the world. There was talk of disbelief at the cruelty and vulgarity of dragging out women, children, and even an elderly Holocaust victim in a wheelchair as hostages by the terrorists. There was incredulity at the desecration of corpses and multiple other war crimes committed against innocent civilians, but there were no words of vengeance uttered.
Members of the Jewish community who heard from rabbis since the massacre were encouraged to undertake acts of kindness that would help repair the world as a response to the brutality that had been inflicted on their brothers and sisters in Israel. Engaging in intentional acts of kindness in response to evil is a deeply rooted, universal value of the Jewish religion.
Among those offering words, songs, and prayers of comfort and inspiration to those gathered, in addition to dozens of clergy from all around the area, were Scott Levin, Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Regional Director, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, and Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, whose words of solidarity brought a standing ovation. Renée Rockford, President and CEO of Jewish Colorado, closed the program with the announcement of a $600,000 matching grant for all donations to help the victims of the massacre.
Also present in the front row to show their support were Colorado U.S. Representatives Jason Crow, Joe Neguse, and Yadira Caraveo.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and Gov. Jared Polis were out of the state but sent heartfelt messages.
The death toll from this horrendous invasion and slaughter, fully directed at civilians, is over 1,000 and rising. The number of civilian hostages, still being held and now under announced threat of public execution, is not known.