Reflecting On This Weekend's Violence
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This weekend our country was the victim of two acts of domestic terrorism, with deadly shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. We are angry and horrified by these senseless, violent acts.
The shooting in El Paso was perpetuated by a white supremacist/white nationalist. Similar to the attacks in Pittsburgh, Poway, and Christchurch earlier this year, this individual believes in an ideology that dehumanizes people from other countries, races, religions, and backgrounds. While the motivation of the Dayton shooter is still unknown, we are deeply angered at the escalating string of attacks that interfere with individuals going about their daily lives.
We strongly condemn these tragic acts of violence and call on our community to work together with others to build bridges across our country that heal the hate that threatens our society. As members of the Jewish community and as Americans we must not allow our society to be ripped apart. As a country, we can’t allow those who hate to define us. We must be defined by our humanity and by how we support each other in times of need.
We must stand together and condemn all forms of hatred, bigotry, and violence. As we are taught in the Jewish value of B’tzelem Elohim – all people are created in the image of G-d. Whoever destroys a life it is as if they have destroyed the world.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims, their families, and community. We are grateful for the first responders who are caring for the wounded. Ha’makom yenahem etkhem betokh she’ar avelei Tziyon vi’Yerushalayim. May the memory of the precious lives lost yesterday be for a blessing, and may all those impacted by these recent attacks find comfort and consolation among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
J. David Heller