Restoring Dignity in Our Sephardic Syrian Insitutions
Unfortunately the incidents of tragedy in our community have increased in recent times. Tragedies that are unlike anything we've seen in the past: cases of illness - for even the very young, for the seemingly healthy; the horrible tragedies that have shocked our community and the entire Jewish world.
At times like these it is incumbent on our community to look to ourselves and ask: why are these things happening to us and why are they happening now?
Of course we know that we will never understand the calculations of G-d. Still, there are clear areas of simple morality that we can improve on right now.
When it comes to dress, whether man or woman, it's one thing to "dress down" in one's personal life, whether on vacation, with friends, etc. However, when it comes to our religious institutions - our shuls and yeshivahs, we should not compromise their sanctity by dressing improperly, in ways that violate the laws of the Torah even according to their most lenient interpretations. At one of our premiere community shuls, a non-Jewish guard was overheard saying "how can people dress this way in a synagogue? We would never dress this way in a church!"
Small changes can bring major ramifications. If we as a community agree to take small steps to preserve the holiness of our institutions, there's little doubt that our prayers in those same institutions will certainly be heard. And we are in desperate need for our prayers to be heard. Every family has or knows someone who needs Heavenly help. Help that we beseech after doctors say there's no more they can do. Help that we request when it seems like there's no salvation for a tragedy. Help that defies logic and rational thought. Help that can only come from Above.
We ask each of you, our community members to sign their names here in agreement to these ideals and in committing to furthering these ideals in our community institutions.