Responding to Another Tragic Shooting

My friends, here we are again.

Another tragic shooting at yet another house of worship. It was ours again. 6 months ago it was Jews in Pittsburgh. 1 and a half months ago, it was Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand. 6 days ago, it was Christians in Colombo, Sri Lanka. And now it’s us again. Who will it be next time?

I absolutely despise that I can ask that question with a horrific certainty that there WILL be a next time. Passover celebrates religious freedom and the first time the Jewish People truly become a People. Easter is one of the three most holiest days for Christians, commemorating the holy ascension of Jesus; and falling just the day before Easter this year, was Lailat ul Bara’h, the night of Forgiveness, a holy day leading up the holiest of days for Muslims, Ramadan. These three peaceful, blessed, and sacred holidays were desecrated by the shedding of human blood by another human being. How despicable. How gut-wrenching. How un-holy. And yet, how prevalent now in our world.

And so we find ourselves here again, straining in our anguish to understand just what is going on in our world. I am struggling too. And I don’t have a quick fix. But I know this. Tears will not solve this problem. Anger will not solve this problem. And hate will not solve this problem. I will mourn for those souls lost. I will pray for those injured bodies. And I will love my fellow human beings with all my soul can muster. Please join me. Join me in mourning. Join me in praying. And Join me in loving.

With steadfast love,

Rabbi Jaimee Shalhevet