What follows is a statement I composed that my synagogue will send out on social media later today:
During dark and unsettled times we turn to the wisdom of Judaism for insight and understanding, for light and hope. In recent days we have been deeply troubled and saddened by the loss of innocent life, by the flames of hatred and prejudice that we see spreading through our nation, and by the violence we see in our communities and cities. As a congregational family we can pause and reflect on what we have seen and felt, always mindful of God’s sheltering presence and the deep wisdom of our faith that nourishes our spirits and guides our lives.
What our tradition teaches:
That every human being is created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God.
That freedom, dignity, and respect are fundamental human rights.
That a society is responsible – particularly responsible – for caring for its most vulnerable citizens.
That racism and hatred demean all.
That goodness, caring, tolerance, justice, peace, and righteousness are values that bring God’s presence into our lives.
That we are responsible, as Jews and as human beings, to work together to create a more tolerant, safer, and holier world.
And so we pray:
For the courage to stand up for what we believe in.
For the strength to be builders of a better tomorrow.
For the wisdom to see what is right and just.
For the humility to see our own limitations and flaws.
For the vision to see a way forward during troubled times.
And for peace, freedom, and dignity for all people in all places.