We No Longer Have the Luxury to Simply Remember

candleAt this time of unimaginable and all too familiar sadness and horror, we no longer have the luxury of simply remembering the victims. We no longer have the privilege to send only thoughts to the loved ones. We no longer have the freedom to catch our breath and thank God that even more mothers, fathers, children, sisters, brothers, spouses and friends were not left with the senseless and irreplaceable loss of those they love.

We have responsibility. To stand up and speak against the dehumanizing words of bigotry and hate that are becoming more and more pervasive. We must struggle and open our hearts so we can live out the values of inclusiveness, respect and fairness necessary not only for this democratic society to be sustained but also to give it a reason to exist at all. To use our common sense. To staunch the shameful bloodshed that is Orlando is Blacksburg is San Bernardino is Charleston is Newtown is Roseburg is Aurora is Seattle is anywhere, is everywhere. At any time.

On Sunday, June 12, 2016, in the United States, one American slaughtered 49 fellow Americans and injured 53 more. This was an act of hate, an act of unmitigated violence, an act that once again rips at our communal soul. This was the worst, but it will not be the last.

It is long past time for change. We risk our essence as a country and as a community if we become immune to this kind of violence.

This was originally emailed to the JFS community following the massacre in an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando. Many people responded with the question: “What do we do to make this stop?” What do you think needs to happen? Please leave us a comment.

Berkovitz.VBy Rabbi Will Berkovitz
Will is CEO of JFS. He and his wife Dr. Lelach Rave, live with their three children in North Seattle. Will is a long-distance runner, avid hiker and backpacker. He particularly enjoys volunteering in the Polack Food Bank and helping with refugee resettlement.


Feature Photo by Zeevveez / CC BY 2.0

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