At the Washington National Cathedral's interfaith prayer service to mourn the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, I offered the following words of comfort and prayer.
For Immediate Release
October 3, 2017
These have been some dark and depressing days for America: a massacre in Orlando targeting the LGBTQ community, people of color being shot by the police at an alarming rate, the gruesome murder of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. We see flags at half-mast and do not know for which tragedy they have been lowered. There have been so many and our hearts wrench in pain and despair.
The Mourners Kaddish begins "Yitgadal v'yitkadash sh'may rabba," "Exalted and Holy be Your great name" - yet little feels holy today, following another mass shooting.
Thoughts, prayer, and words are appropriate – but they’re not sufficient. Our words need to be followed by long overdue actions and hard work.
As Reform Jews, our task is to challenge America's conscience and not stand idly by the blood of our neighbor. We offer words, prayers, and concrete ways to take action to prevent gun violence.
This latest mass shooting cannot be termed a random act of violence. Even before all the facts are known we know this: rather than revere gun rights our country must finally revere human life.
In response to the police shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the deaths of the five police officers in Dallas, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: