I lead the Monday morning minyan at Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael. Before the Kaddish D’Rabbanan, we always have a Talmud lesson. Rabbi Rubin summarizes the Daf Yomi (the page of the Talmud according to a schedule that we read one page of the Talmud every day) on every day except Monday. I try on Monday to search a passage of the Talmud that relates to the Torah portion. This week’s Torah portion is Yitro, which contains the Ten Commandments. Last Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and I sought to find a connection with King to the Ten Commandments. It was easier than I thought.
In April 1963, King spelled out a radical strategy to change culture in his book, Why We Can’t Wait. Each participant in the Birmingham protests was required to abide by King’s “Ten Commandments.”
Malik Faisal Akram, the gunman at Congregation Beth Israel at Colleyville, did not heed King’s ten commandments, especially numbers two, three, six, and eight. We thank God the congregants escaped unscathed, but it was due to the training they underwent. But the close scrape in Colleyville (the most recent violent attack on a synagogue), leads me to formulate the ten commandments of security:
I am not an expert in security. Maybe you can come with additions or subtractions. We open our doors to the community, and we have occasionally guests from the community. It would be shame to lose the openness. When the pandemic ends and we are in the sanctuary, we need to balance security with the openness.