The shock, rage, horror, fear and sorrow that we all may have felt in the past weeks following the terrible events in France leave us wondering what we can do. What can we do in the wake of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the kosher market, the murder of innocent people in the name of a perverted and hateful ideology?

We must mourn with the people of France and with the Jews of France. We must open our hearts in solidarity and know that their loss is our loss; the attack on them was an attack on us. “Je suis Charlie” is not just a slogan. These were attacks on all those who value democracy, freedom of expression and respect for human life.

We must all stand together against those who would attack us and all that we stand for. While we must fight with all our strength against terrorists, while we must do everything possible to protect our communities, we must not ourselves fall into hatred or bigotry.

Those who murder in the name of religion, who kill with God’s name on their lips, desecrate the name of God; they desecrate the name of Islam and the name of all religions. In the face of that desecration, we must remind the world that all people are created in the image of God.

We must stand in solidarity with all our brothers and sisters: the Jews of France, the Muslims, the Christians, all the French people and all peace-loving people everywhere. Our hearts are broken in sorrow for those who have lost loved ones, and our hearts are firm and proud as we stand together in the name of freedom and humanity.

Rabbi Natan Margalit

Adas Yoshuron Synagogue

Rockland