Karen and I are in Dallas for a cousin’s wedding.
Flags are at half-mast all across the city.
My cousins belong to Congregation Shaare Tefilla, an Orthodox synagogue, and a spectacularly gracious and hospitable congregation. During Shabbat services, Rabbi Ariel Rackovsky read the names and ages of the five fallen Dallas police officers. The Rabbi spoke with great moral clarity about what it means to be an American, a Texan, and a Jew. We are all, he said, steeped in this arc of grief together. It was deeply moving. A moment I shall never forget.
Karen and I took a short vacation last week in Texas. We have beloved cousins who live in Dallas, and we and stayed with them for Shabbos.
Texas is a great state with sane housing costs, low taxes, and reasonable regulations. Concealed carry permits are issued without onerous burdens on the citizen. The orthodox Jewish population is growing by leaps and bounds. Our cousin is a cardiologist, and except for the disease called Obamacare—our cousin groans at the very mention—Texas is a first-class environment for hospitals and medical research facilities.
Karen and I davened at Congregation Shaare Tefillah, where I was warmly greeted by nearly every congregant—the ritual of Jewish geography rolled in a major way—and soon felt right at home. Texas hospitality fused with Jewish hospitality is an unbeatable combination. Texas Jews, like Texans in general, are hugely proud of their state, and the history of Texas is filled with Jews who helped build this great land.
Anyhoo, a few pics from our trip.