Shaare Tefilla organizes prayer for Congregation Beth Israel

By Sharon Wisch-Ray

More than 200 participants gathered quickly on Zoom following Shabbat, Saturday, Jan. 15, to pray for the safe release of Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and two Congregation Beth Israel who were taken hostage by an armed suspect just before 11 a.m. during Shabbat services.

Organized by Congregation Shaare Tefilla Rabbi Ariel Rackovsky, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas hosted the virtual T’hillem (Psalms) recitation to accommodate the large number in attendance.

“We have a text, we have a place to turn, whenever we are afraid whenever we are nervous whenever something is happening that is seemingly beyond our control. And that is of course the power of T’hillem the power of prayer,” said Rackovsky.   

He added, “the other thing that we take comfort in is the beauty of community. The beauty of joining together in prayer in solidarity with our friends with our Jewish brothers and sisters and anybody who is of good faith that joins us.”

In addition to members of the Dallas Jewish community, there were people from across the United States and Israel who joined the prayer service.

Psalms 22, 122, 130 and 142 were recited and led by Rackovsky, Rabbi Yaakov Rich, Rabbi Howard Wolk and Rabbi Zecharia Sionit respectively.

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