Responding to Baton Rouge, St. Paul and Dallas

We are devastated and sickened by the gun violence atrocities we have seen across America this week. Our collective hearts go out to the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, as well as the families of the victims in Dallas last night. Gun violence is abhorrent and must be stopped, whether perpetrated against African-American motorists or police officers. It is anathema to our Jewish values which celebrate the dignity and sanctity of life. 

We stand with the late Nobel Prize Winner Elie Wiesel, z”l, who said in his Nobel acceptance speech in 1986, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.” These senseless deaths underscore the need for constructive action, from sensible federal gun control legislation to a systemic review of police training and procedures. 

But now is not the time for politics or policy.  Now is the time for grieving and for comforting all who are bereaved. The cycle of violence sweeping our nation is both senseless and reprehensible; may calmer heads prevail across our country. May the memories of all who lost their lives this week be for blessings. And may this Shabbat usher in a time for healing for us all. 


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