Thursday, February 15, 2018
The Central Conference of American Rabbis is grief-stricken, as America and the world contemplate the murder of at least 17 young people yesterday, with others sustaining terrible injuries, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This shooting hits us particularly close to home. Children and grandchildren of our own communities have been murdered. Even as we weep for our own, we affirm that all America’s children are our own.
As religious leaders, we pray: For the victims. For their family and friends sorely in need of comfort. For the healing of the wounded. We ask for strength, too, for first responders, for medical personnel, for our CCAR members serving the communities in and near Broward County; and for religious leaders, chaplains of all faiths, and mental health professionals who seek to salve wounds that will not soon heal.
However, as heirs to Israel’s prophetic tradition, we cannot only pray. We raise the collective voice of Reform rabbis, calling once again for sensible gun legislation. America must not continue to act in egregious violation of the biblical injunction, “You shall not stand by while your brother or sister bleeds” (Lev. 19:16).
We implore our nation’s leaders: “Be strong and of good courage” (Deut. 31:6). Let America stand up to its pernicious gun culture. Then, may America “choose life,” for ourselves and for our children (Deut. 30:19).
Rabbi David E. Stern Rabbi Steven A. Fox
President Chief Executive
Central Conference of American Rabbis