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Rabbi's Weekly Message

Rabbi wexler - Thursday, june 6

Judaism believes in the sanctity of life and of the intrinsic and infinite worth of every human being. To destroy a single life, the rabbis of the Mishnah teach, is to destroy an entire world. Over 30,000 Americans die each year due to gun violence. Each day, eight children and teens under the age of 20 die from gun violence in this country. Gun violence is taking an unacceptable toll on our society. Sadly, it has become a regular occurrence to hear of school shootings, shootings in houses of worship, at healthcare clinics, in clubs, in municipal buildings and more. From the senseless loss of life, to the families and communities that are left to grieve, to the anxiety, fear, and sadness that the tragedies leave in their wake, gun violence knows no boundaries, and is an issue that must be addressed.

The realities of gun violence are heartbreaking, and the emotions stirred by hatred and loss can often feel overwhelming. Yet our tradition teaches that we must take action. The Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative Movement offers us one important pathway to do so. They are about to launch their #NotOneMore Campaign Against Gun Violence. Check out their Campaign Page which includes important information including three action steps that we can take to engage our Senators and local Representatives.

Another important step is to come together as a community. We will do so this weekend as we turn to Shabbat and then move into the holiday of Shavuot while also participating as a TBS community in the Wear Orange Initiative as part of National Gun Violence Awareness Weekend. We hope that you will join us and wear orange to services this Shabbat morning. We will also have orange ribbons available on Saturday morning for people to wear. Orange is the color that Hadiya Pendleton's friends wore in her honor when she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 -- just one week after performing at President Obama's second inaugural parade in 2013. After her death, they asked us to stand up, speak out, and #WearOrange, the color that hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves, to raise awareness about gun violence.

We hope you will join us in this initiative both of solidarity and of taking action by using #wearorange on social media, by joining us on Shabbat morning, and by wearing orange. It promises to be a beautiful and uplifting morning as we bring our new prayer experience, Shir HaLev, into the sanctuary for a morning of spirited singing with wonderful melodies and drums as well as and meaningful teachings. Then, join us, on Saturday night, Sunday, and Monday for the holiday of Shavuot which will include Confirmation.

On this anniversary of receiving the Torah at Sinai, which falls this year over Wear Orange Weekend, let’s explore the responsibility we were given by accepting Torah. The responsibility to repair the brokenness of the world and to use our tradition as our guide to put it back together in a way that makes everyone safe from violence and makes the world more just.

Shabbat Shalom and Hag Sameah.

Mon, June 17 2019 14 Sivan 5779