Rebuilding the world
Last Sunday’s brutal act of terror in Orlando shocked many of us to the core, leaving effects of fear, anxiety and anger from which we will be reeling for a long time to come.
We join with so many others offering our thoughts and prayers to the victims of this horrific attack, their heartbroken families, and the first-responders who helped bring relief to so many others. But we also know that our thoughts and prayers will only go so far, as perhaps the most shocking element is the frequency with which events such as this continue to happen.
Access to guns continues to proliferate unabated. And while these sorts of large-scale mass shootings dominate the headlines, the despicable scourge of gun violence is most frequently demonstrated in much smaller scale events, those in homes, movie theaters, street corners, and schools. The commonness of these events can make us inured to them, but we must remain vigilant. We must continue working and advocating towards the decrease in gun violence, especially in those communities which are the hardest hit.
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Sunday’s attack also demonstrated what happens when fear, anger, and hate not only continue, but prosper without check. The type of hate that drives someone to do this horrendous act is fed by things like North Carolina’s HB 2, which we strongly oppose and will continue to fight to undo.
We stand in true solidarity with our friends and loved ones in the LGBT community, and those within other communities whose voices and faces are continuously ignored and silenced at best, and snuffed out at worst. We must use this attack as a clarion call to amplify the voices of those most marginalized within our society and we should not respond to this event by perpetuating hate against our Muslim brothers and sisters. We must continue to move forward together, and not one step back.
The Pirke Avot, the chapters of rabbinic texts known as the Ethics of Our Ancestors reminds us that it is not our task to finish the work (of rebuilding the world), but we are not free to desist from it. In this time of great grief and mourning, we cannot lose sight of the incredible task of crafting a world that is safer, more just, and more open for all, rallying that all people are seen, heard, and loved for the spark of the divine within each of them.
Rabbi Ari Naveh
On behalf of Carolina Jews for Justice