Message from Rabbi Vernon and Bryna Kurtz

Posted on July 7, 2022

by Rabbi Vernon Kurtz

Bryna and I were shocked to hear the news last night Israel time of the terrible shooting and loss of life at the Highland Park Fourth of July Parade. We were shaken to our very core as we saw pictures of the streets we walked for 31 years in downtown Highland Park and witnessed the aftermaths of the tragic shooting.

We heard from friends and colleagues eye witness reports of what occurred and how they were able to save themselves and their families and we watched local Chicago news stations as they reported on the event. Here in Israel, the story led off the hourly news. It was simply hard for us to imagine that this could occur in a peaceful community like Highland Park.

We want to express our condolences to all who lost loved ones and whose families are shattered by this horrible event. We pray for the well-being of those who have been injured in body and in spirit. May all return to good bodily and emotional health.

This morning at my daily minyan I recited a Psalm in memory of those who were killed and a MiSheberach for those who were injured. The community responded with appropriate concern.

I recited Psalm 121 which includes these words:

“The Lord is your guardian, the Lord is your protection at your right hand.

By day the sun will not strike you, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will guard you from all harm; He will guard your life.

The Lord will guard your going and coming now and forever.”


May these words accompany all of you and give you strength.

We offer our warm hugs from Jerusalem and pray for the welfare of all.

May we share only good news with one another in the future.