The revelation. “Now Mt. Sinai was all in smoke… and the smoke rose like the smoke of a kilm, and the whole mountain trembled violently.”(Exodus 19:18)
You shall not murder.
On the very day in the Jewish calendar when we received this commandment, a man was in Orlando seething with hate for Latinos, for gays and lesbians, transgendered and those of sexual fluidity. As we chanted the Ten Commandments loudly and clearly, he was loading assault rifles and filling his pockets with extra ammunition. As we studied about love, he entered Pulse nightclub and began shooting. When all was done, 49 men and women were dead and countless more injured. And in that circle of 49, parents wailed as loud as the shofar and husbands and wives and brothers and sisters trembled as Sinai, and countless friends, family members and acquaintances echoed the cry of the Torah, while watching the smoke and the devastation with fear and anger.
As part of our Jewish history, we blot out the name of those who tried to kill us. Today, we blot out the gunman's name like Amalek or Haman. The FBI and many others are investigating who he was, where he came from and why he would do such a thing. He is a terrorist and most likely a lone, homegrown terrorist. Although, we know that looking into his life and piecing together a profile can help to prevent future attacks. But it truly does not matter right now. What does matter is that this man was able to buy assault rifles and use them.
This is what we should be examining. Our Constitution allows us to bear arms for self-defense. An assault rifle is not for self-defense- it is for the opposite-mass murder. We know that the shooter had a violent past, and had been targeted by the FBI for his Isis related comments on Facebook. So, the question becomes, why was he allowed to buy the weapons. And when will our government take action and put into place more stringent gun laws.
We all need to do our part in pushing gun laws through the Senate. We will gather and speak. We will make our politicians accountable through letters and phone calls and petitions. We will march. We will no longer be bystanders.
In the words of Lin Manuel-Miranda we will love and love and love and love because in the end the love is what survives.
Zacher Tzaddik Livracha. We will never forget all the victims of gun violence and we promise, in your names, that there will be a time where the laws regarding gun control will be more severe and there will be a reckoning . There will be accountability. This is not what God wants. This is not what most human beings want. A Ten Commandments for our future.
A New Ten Commandments
- There is something greater than ourselves.
- We will be held accountable for killing in the name of that greater Spirit, whether it be called Allah, Adonai, God, The Father or by some other name.
- Love will be taught in every school.
- We will realize that most often what we are trying to kill is what we hate in ourselves
- We will make sure that a human cannot commit mass murder of other humans established through stringent gun control laws.
- We will protect all.
- We will love our brothers and our sisters no matter what differences we have- we all bleed red, we all love. We have hearts that beat and the same emotions.
- We will be happy with our lot because when we are happy we do not covet or steal or murder.
- Our Government must do a better job at protecting our people. That will only come when you- our Government- stop hating each other and sabotaging the work that needs to be done.
- We will love and love and love and love and love and love and love each other regardless of race, religion, color, sexuality, political views.