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Rabbi Jonah Pesner delivers a prayer at the National Cathedrals interfaith vigil for victims of the Las Vegas shootings

At the Washington National Cathedral's interfaith prayer service to mourn the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, I offered the following words of comfort and prayer.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
Bullet casing lying on broken ground

The Mourners Kaddish begins "Yitgadal v'yitkadash sh'may rabba," "Exalted and Holy be Your great name" - yet little feels holy today, following another mass shooting.

Rabbi Paul Kipnes
Statue of Liberty against a blue sky

We must gather together. We cannot turn aside our attention. We need to stand up and shine our collective light. Politically, we have a six-month timeline that starts now. 

Rabbi Shoshanah Conover & Rabbi Seth Limmer
Collage of images of individuals who died during the past year

As 5777 draws to a close, here are some members of the tribe — representing areas as diverse as pop culture to politics — we've mourned since last Rosh HaShanah.

Gabe Friedman (JTA)
Streetlight peeking out over floodwaters on a flooded street

"How much water is inside a tear, and how long does it take to dry them? As long as there is misery and fear in the people who continue to cry them."

Rabbi Zoë Klein
Flooded street with the painted yellow lines visible beneath flood waters

Recovery for a storm of this magnitude will take months, if not years. We are working hard to provide resources to affected families, and we encourage you to do the same.

Marissa Solomon
Satellite view of Hurricane Harvey hitting Texas

God of earth and sea / Of ocean and shore / Source of All / This storm is relentless and unyielding / Bringing destruction and chaos...

Alden Solovy
Side view of the Washington Monument at twilight

I want to slam society against the wall and shout at the top of my lungs, “This is not right! This is not just! This is not the world that we are commanded to create"

Rabbi Joel N. Abraham
Rabbis Tom Gutherz and Rachel Schmelkin of Congregation Beth Israel in Charlottesville stand in a synagogue sanctuary together with Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs

May we continue to be inspired by Congregation Beth Israel to turn darkness into light, to turn fear into resolve, to turn xenophobia into acceptance, and to turn hatred into hope.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Disembodied hands holding a newspaper

Since last Shabbat, more than a few keystrokes have been devoted to Charlottesville – the rally itself, events in the aftermath, and  perspectives on what it all means for our Jewish community. 

Jane E. Herman


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