Please do not despair,
Please do not hide away
Please do not stop believing in the world of our dreams
Please do not let go of hope
This is our job now, to make sure that we do NOT become afraid to live free.
We need each other now more than ever. All bickering between Jews should stop. Let us learn how not to judge, in light of their judgment of us.
Let us learn to fight hatred with it’s opposite, with love, acceptance and generous spirits overflowing with welcome.
We should all stand and say Kaddish for these precious souls who lost their lives on a lonely Shabbat in October.
Yitgadal v’yitkadash sh’may rabba…
Exalted and Holy be Your great name…
Yet little feels holy today.
Another mass shooting
An incomprehensible horror
Too many dead and too many wounded
And we are left
to mournthe dead, to healthe wounded, to wonderwhy?
b’alma di v’ra chirutei…
…in the world which You God created, according to plan…
But is this part of Your plan?
That death and destruction emerges from the free will You entrusted to us
That automatic gunfire rains down unceasingly
That people kill people, using weapons we designed and created with the minds You accorded us
v’yamlich malchutei, b’chayeichon uv’yomeichon…
…may Your majestic love be revealed, in the days of our lifetime…
In your Torah we are taught,
When Moses and the Israelites stood praying at the shores of the Red Sea while the Egyptians army was bearing down on them, You called out to us “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” (Ex 14:15).
So help us move on, help us be strong
Not by forgetting this horror
Not by explaining it away
Not by blaming the easy targets
But by having courage to
Mourn the dead
Heal the victims
Bless the first responders
Lead with love
Change the laws
And save lives
y’hei sh’lama raba min sh’maya, v’chayim aleinu…
…may there (soon) be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us all…
Peace that comes
because we did NOT become inured to the continual violence in our concert venues, our schools, our malls and neighborhoods
and we did NOT allow the calls for prayers to turn us away from the actions we must take to end mass shootings
But because we DID
find the courage to stand up, speak up, act out
oseh shalom bimromav, Hu yaaseh shalom aleinu,
…may the One who creates harmony on high, guide us to build Your world of peace right here.
v’al kol Yisrael, v’al kol yoshvei teivel,
to all Israel, and all the world,
So one day Your world, free from this violence,
will finally reflect Your majesty, Your glory.
…and let us say: Amen