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Congregation Shaarey Zedek Mourns and Stands with Indigenous Communities

09/07/2021 07:50:47 AM


Board of Directors

Congregation Shaarey Zedek expresses its grief, and outrage over the finding of nearly 1,000 unmarked graves on former residential school grounds across Canada. Even more disturbing is the widespread anticipation that other such grim findings are on the horizon.

Each grave represents not only a life unfulfilled, but a life that was marked by untold cruelty and deemed unworthy even to be named in memory by people in positions of extraordinary trust and power.

As our Sages teach us, “Whoever saves a single life is considered to have saved the world entire.” The memories of these unnamed children were entire worlds unto themselves that were utterly and callously extinguished. Our Torah repeatedly implores the Jewish People and all of humanity to recognize the value and sanctity of all life, and to uphold the obligation we all have to sanctify the lives of every member of humanity. We recognize that these children were cruelly denied this dignity.

As Jews, we hold a collective, and often living memory of being torn away from our families, forcibly assimilated, oppressed, and murdered en masse in persecutions throughout time and place. We know the pain of seeing our children devalued, discarded, dehumanized, and destroyed. Those dark legacies continue to make an indelible impact on the Jewish People around the world to this very day. We cannot but empathize with Canada’s Indigenous Community that suffered such indignities and oppression at the hands of authorities who in words often promised protection, but in deeds, did the opposite. We recognize the impact this has continued to have on First Nations communities in the present.

Today and every day, we stand in solemn solidarity with the Indigenous Community in their pursuit of truth, peace, memory, reconciliation, and justice. May we all mourn the loss together alongside our Indigenous brothers and sisters and strive to ensure that such tragedies and injustices never happen again.

Board of Directors
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
561 Wellington Crescent Winnipeg MB R3M 0A6
204-452-3711 F 204-474-1184

Wed, 8 February 2023 17 Shevat 5783