With Tisha b’Av, the national day of Jewish mourning set to begin at sundown tonight, we call your attention to a timely piece by our own Rabbi Ari Sytner. The leader of the OU’s sole congregation in the Palmetto state reacted to the recent line of duty deaths of nine Charleston firefighters by organizing a packed house memorial service open to the entire community.
In this piece, Rabbi Sytner explains what motivated him. It is worth a read not only in tribute to the nine fallen heroes but also for its well crafted response to how faithful respond to a devastating communal tragedy. We won’t spoil your reading, but Rabbi Sytner’s analysis of “what” as opposed to “why” is worth keeping in mind.