This past Saturday morning the Lab/Shul community gathered to celebrate Shabbat and Pride Month while marking the two year anniversary of the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, that claimed the lives of nine people, gunned down by a 21 year old white supremacist. We added prayers of honor, peace, hope and healing to the slain, wounded and mourning in East Jerusalem following Friday night’s stabbing, the victims of the fire in London that could and should have been prevented, and the rage of protesters in Minnesota following the latest verdict that renders black lives as mattering less in this country.
Today we are deeply saddened to have to, once again, stand with our Muslim sisters and brothers nationwide in sorrow. As Ramadan nears its close, we are furious and heartbroken over the continued violence, discrimination and loss of sacred lives, fueled by dangerous narratives of divisiveness from the top. Words matter and carry consequences. Worshipers outside a London mosque were attacked with at least one killed, and a 17 year old teenager was killed right outside one of the DC area’s largest mosques and community centers.
No matter the motives, as they will undoubtedly be investigated – these are hate crimes.
We will not be silent in the face of all these acts of hatred. We will fear less, love more, and rise, to life, together.
May all memories become blessings, and may we rise, together, for human dignity, pride, freedom – for all.
– Rabbi Amichai