I’m reaching out with profound sadness at the news of another senseless act of violence in Orlando, Florida, targeting gays and lesbians at a gay bar. But this attitude of hate and murderous action could be aimed at any group, and should cause each of us to feel personally involved in the mourning and in the resolve to find solutions to this violence. Hate crime against gays? Racist act? Terrorist inspired? Mental illness issue? Personal confusion turned against others? Too easy access to assault weapons? Perhaps some of all of those? This is a complex and difficult case, but we cannot let it pass and merely get filed as a statistic of how many killed and wounded. As a community, we must condemn the attack, and take action.  

Let us stand strongly with the LGBT community in grief, horror and outrage at the senseless act of hate, and let us affirm our support for all individuals regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation or religious background or belief, and recommit to engaging in meaningful interfaith dialogue. If you are in Northern Arizona, please support the vigil on Sunday, June 19, at Posse Grounds Park in Sedona, beginning at 6 p.m.

May the Holy One comfort the grieving families and friends of the deceased victims. We pray for a speedy recovery to all those who have been injured. May our religious convictions help us understand that we show the ultimate respect for God when we respect each other.

Rabbi Alicia Magal

Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley

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