May 31, 2022

*CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS* All Who Can Protest: A Rabbinic Call to End The American Gun Violence Epidemic

 *CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS*


All Who Can Protest: A Rabbinic Call to End The American Gun Violence Epidemic

edited by Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Rabbi Rachel Timoner, Rabbi Michelle Dardashti, and Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein

How can this be? Over and over and over and over, we are shocked to our cores by mass shooting after mass shooting after mass shooting. Or, even worse, we become less shocked. We must heed the teaching of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who wrote,

"When I see an act of evil, I'm not accommodated. I don't accommodate myself to the violence that goes on everywhere; I'm still surprised. That's why I'm against it, why I can hope against it. We must learn how to be surprised. Not to adjust ourselves.”

In the aftermath of recent mass shootings, including at the Tops Friendly Market in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, California, ALL WHO CAN PROTEST will document the ongoing call of American Jewish rabbinic leadership to END THE AMERICAN GUN VIOLENCE EPIDEMIC.

Has your rabbi delivered a message of protest in response to Gun Violence? Contributions of 500-800 (plus or minus) words are due June 20, and must be sent IN WORD FORMAT to torahwithin@gmail.com.

May 27, 2022

The poetry of Yehuda Amichai, the #Uvalde & #Buffalo #GunViolence Massacres, the rebuke of Parashat Bechukotai, and the prophetic voice of Dr Seuss - one urgent message: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not."

The poetry of Yehuda Amichai, the #Uvalde & #Buffalo #GunViolence Massacres, the rebuke of Parashat Bechukotai, and the prophetic voice of Dr Seuss - one urgent message:
 
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not."
 
May we do our part in making this world safer for our children, for our elders, for our schools, for our neighbors. That is the way.


May 26, 2022

From The Atlantic: "Gun culture may be harder to change than gun laws"

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2022
The Daily
Katherine J. Wu headshot

Katherine J. Wu

STAFF WRITER

Guns are part of everyday American life. Then: If Donald Trump is attempting to pave a path back to the White House in 2024, the road ahead just got a little rockier.

10 years after Sandy Hook

Two black-and-white images of adults hugging children

(AP / Getty / The Atlantic)

Connecticut is where 20 children and six adults were killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School almost a decade ago. Today, it is also a state in which it is still very easy to legally carry a gun. My colleague Graeme Wood, a Connecticut resident and gun enthusiast, proved just how easy last weekend, when he enrolled in a daylong class on guns and gun safety—the primary obstacle standing between him and a bona fide certification to carry a lethal weapon.

Anyone, Graeme observes, “with an IQ higher than a mango’s could pass” the class, which cost about $75. After that, it’s simply a matter of presenting yourself and your fingertips to the police, and paying a small fee. Anyone who’s not registered with the government as a criminal or psychiatric inpatient, and is not an “illegal” resident, is expected to be green-lit for gun ownership.

“I asked the instructor, who had spent decades working in fire and law enforcement, whether the officers at my local police station might refuse to issue me a carry permit, just because they thought I looked squirrelly and mentally unstable,” Graeme writes. “‘If they rejected people on that basis, do you think I’d have a permit?’ he joked. ‘But seriously. You could go in wearing your underpants on the outside and it wouldn’t matter.’”

Certainly this pipeline could be tightened. But, as Graeme explains, such a change might not make much of a difference—in Connecticut, or anywhere else in the United States. Nearly 400 million guns—many more than there were when Sandy Hook was attacked—are in civilian hands in the country already, woven into the fabric of daily life, and embedded deeply into American culture. Yesterday, an 18-year-old man carried one of them, a rifle, into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and killed at least 19 children and two adults. In the aftermath of the tragedy, people across the world are grieving; parents are fearful for their kids’ lives. And yet, little seems likely to change. Whatever will may exist for reform and gun control, my colleague Ronald Brownstein writes, this country’s political infrastructure probably won’t let any meaningful legislative action through.

That doesn’t mean we remain complacent. “These kids and all the people who die every day,” the emergency physician Megan Ranney told me, “deserve better than for us to forget them.”

May 10, 2022

Exploring Netzach: Morning Torah

The poetry of this being the Sefirah week of Netzach (endurance, grit) as I tested positive two days ago wasn't lost on me. And the tenderness of Jewish tradition's teachings about Netzach spoke so deeply within me too.

May 3, 2022

"Firsts" [ #DailyPoem ]

Firsts

What if we only used first names?
How would we know our tribes?
Would our fathers be remembered less,
or would we remember our mothers equally?
I'll tell you one thing:
No one would be the last anything,
for we'd all be firsts.
art: Yak Sap, "Hello...My Name is Yak Sap", mixed media on 3D wood construction