Band of Light – Lisa Miller

Pittsburgh, October 27, 2018

Remembering Or L’Simcha-Tree of Life- congregants:
David Rosenthal, Cecil Rosenthal, Richard Gottfried,
Joyce Feinberg, Jerry Rabinowitz, Rose Mallinger,
Irving Younger, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, Sylvan Simon,
Bernice Simon

We arrive to the parking lot of our Temple in Kentucky
cautious, determined, needing each other. Needing
the sanctuary of our liturgy, the familiarity of perseverance
the ancient stories—reminders—of our right:

To Breathe.

Our human right to exist.

We are tired
heartbroken again—
experience never cushions the heartbreak, the answerless questioning:
We’re Hated?

Eleven souls
wrapped in prayer
in their Temple sanctuary     this week.

Though we grow up knowing to be vigilant
against violence, knowing to be prepared,
the unsurprise of it—the devastation of it

We are angry
that our children must be taught to endure this
again, now
reminders of uniting in stories of oppression.


We suffer

knowing that our great-great grandchildren will navigate this future.

Horrors live
in the fight-flight of our DNA.
How many generations to desensitize to violence
physical and emotional?

Remembering our Temple parking lot
I weep again—
a rare, illuminated, arm of light.

to shelter us. Thirteen humanitarians, regular people
from the grocery, the DMV line, neighborhood churches—
organized by The Interfaith Alliance:

a   protective   shield   of   human   bodies
welcoming us to our place of worship, to reassure us, to guard
our vulnerability again on our Sabbath as we gather to pray.

They hold vigil and shield us.
They hold the vigil of our shelter
as we cover ourselves
in prayer.


Lisa M. Miller is an inclusive social justice advocate and mind-body health specialist
who facilitates support groups and workshops that help people find their wise inner-
She’s an empty-nester, married to Jonathan, her 1986 Jewish summer camp

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