How do we respond to tragedy? by Rabbi Judy Schindler

With silence… There aren’t words to respond to someone with semi-automatic guns in hand murdering innocent souls en masse.

With identification… As President Obama stated, “An attack on any American is an attack on all Americans.” People lost their sons and daughters, their brothers and sisters, their friends and colleagues.

With outrage… Suspected terrorists are prevented from flying on commercial airlines but they can buy firearms. Systems need to change.

With embrace… Our gay brothers and sisters were at a nightclub enjoying their lives in the midst of their city’s Gay Pride celebration. If this was a Jewish site, the act of anti-Semitism would fill all our souls with fear. This was not only an act of radical terrorism it was an act of homosexual hate. Our LGBT brothers and sisters need to feel our steadfast support.

With resolve… to do whatever it takes to root out extremism and hatred. Let us start with calling out the demonization of another in any setting we witness it.

With prayer… May the One who blessed, healed, consoled and strengthened the faith of our ancestors, bless those who are bereft with consolation, bless those who are wounded with healing, bless those whose faith is shaken with the belief that light can shine in the midst of darkness and that the good can indeed prevail, and bless all of us with a passion for pursuing inclusion, justice and peace.

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