Posted on May 25, 2022 by Rabbi Andrea Goldstein
There are no words to express the sorrow and outrage we feel after learning of yet another mass shooting in our nation. This time, 19 elementary school children and two teachers have been murdered. Twenty-one souls who will never again laugh or play, dream, or learn.
When our own words fail us, we turn to the words of our tradition. We turn to the words of the prophet Jeremiah to express a grief that feels too large to bear:
A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more. (Jeremiah 31:15)
And we turn to the words of Amos, adapted for this moment in time, to inspire us toward change:
I hate, I despise your vigils,
and I take no delight in your school shooter drills.
Though you offer me your thoughts and prayers I will not accept them;
your offerings of well-being I will not look upon.
Take away from me the noise of your lament;
I will not listen to the melody of your tears.
But let justice roll down like waters
and righteousness as an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:21-24 adapted)
We urge each member of our community not to allow despair, numbness, or feelings of helplessness to prevent us from action. Now is the time to cry out. Now is the time to let our senators know that we want them to pass laws expanding background checks and waiting periods for would-be gun buyers. Contact information is provided below. You may also wish to donate to one of the many fundraisers to support the families of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
We pray, of course, for the families whose losses cannot be measured and for healing for those who have been injured. And our prayers, of course, are not enough.
Rabbi Bennett, Rabbi Goldstein, Rabbi Bearman, Cantor Warner, Rabbi Levine, and Rabbi Stiffman
Bill Remis, President of Congregation Shaare Emeth
Sue Picus, Chair of the Tzedek (Justice) Committee