As I write this I am mindful, mad, and grateful on the heels of the hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas.

I am mindful that anti-Semitism continues to rear its ugly face in our country, a place that should be one of equality and justice, home to persons of all religions and cultures. And I am mad about it. Our Jewish community provides inextricable and invaluable threads in the fabric of our society. As people of faith, we are called to see the divine in one another as brothers and sisters in this world; where when one suffers, we suffer together.

I am mindful that leaders and members of synagogues, mosques, gurdwaras, and other places of worship where people may be targeted have to be engaged in security measures, alliances, and courses – because this kind of violence is a way of life in our country.

I am mad that this kind of violence is now a way of life. And I am mad that our country is at a stand-still, refusing to do anything about the insane proliferation of guns, especially those guns used for no other purpose than to target fellow human beings.

I am mindful that we must not let up in our vigilance, and continue to work toward justice and an end to bigotry. I am mindful that we cannot give up the fight for gun control. And I am mindful that security courses, including active shooter training, save lives, including the lives of the four individuals held hostage in Colleyville.

I am grateful for persons of faith like Rabbi Cytron-Walker for his steadiness that scriptural study and prayer prepare one for. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with our students to help them develop such spiritual resilience. I am grateful for security and training by professionals, such as we experience at the Fish Interfaith Center by Chapmanā€™s Public Safety, for as long as we need it. May we continue to welcome all here, and to be mad enough that we work toward the end of bigotry and violence in this country.