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Response to the Las Vegas Shooting

By Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD! (Ps. 130:1)

We are in the depths of sorrow, of fear. A senseless act of domestic terror has touched the soul of our nation. Every one of us can imagine ourselves on that field, innocently enjoying an outdoor concert, the sun fading and the music winding down. Suddenly to have our innocence shattered by sprays of bullets from a towering building; the firecracker pops, the bodies dropping; the panic and confusion as crowds of people scatter and seek refuge or escape. Innocence gone in the incessant and merciless gunfire. Someone, hidden behind reflective windows meticulously prepared for this moment, spreading indiscriminant death and injury. What kind of person does this? What kind of society, outside the terrible confines of war, lives like this?

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!

We mourn – an entire nation mourns. It could have been us, we could have been there. No one deserved it, no family deserved to have their loved ones ripped from their embrace in such a malicious act. We are too numb, too raw, too afflicted by the relentless, repetitive, merciless drumbeat of the euphemistic expression: Mass Shooting. More like “Mass Murder,” “Deranged Multiple Assassination,” “Unleashed Weapons of Mass Destruction.” In our cities. In our nation. How long can this go on, O LORD? How long?

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!

While we mourn our dead and tend our wounded, we are numb. Sympathy and compassion reign. But within us grows a cry, which emerges to a howl proclaiming “no more!” Can we heed it? Will we have the courage to act against complacency? Will we challenge the cynicism that declares nothing will change? Will we shatter systems that bind us and trap us in spirals of death? This is not normal. We cannot accept it as normal. How long, O LORD? How long?

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!

And G-d quietly answers: what are YOU going to do?

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