On the Orlando Massacre
As Jews who have suffered annihilation just because we are Jews, as Reconcontructionist Jews who were the first to advocate for full inclusion of LGBTQ Jews in Jewish ritual life, as members of a congregation that is welcoming to all, we mourn the death of the 49 and the wounding of the 53 at Pulse in Orlando. We also acknowledge the terror that will remain for the LGBTQ community long after the funerals of the slaughtered, long after this particular event fades from the headlines.
We recognize, too, the larger scope of this terrible incident. Though aimed at LGBTQ people, this was an attack on the best that is America, on American freedom, and on American diversity. It was also an attack against people of color, against Hispanics, against atheists, against Christians, against Jews, and against Muslims. As President Obama observed: “This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.”
We pray that this massacre will make others aware of the consequence of senseless hatred. We pray that the horror of this slaughter will lead not only to laws to protect and defend the rights and safety of LGBTQ individuals, but will open the hearts of those who oppose such laws. And we promise that our synagogue will continue to be a beacon for all who search for sanctuary, solace and community.