The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabonim, with a membership of over 950 Orthodox Rabbis across the United States and Canada — calls for a mandatory moment of silence in our nation’s public schools to instill values in our youth.
The recent outrageous acts of violence visited upon the Chabad of Poway in California and the shootings in Charlotte, North Carolina and the STEM School right outside of Denver, Colorado serve as a clarion call for instituting a moment of silence in our public schools throughout these blessed United States of America.
Our youth are being raised on a diet of violent video games and a social media that is replete with indiscriminate sexual perversions that corrupt the healthy and wholesome moral and ethical development of our youth and teenagers.
Many people in America today lack the basic fundamentals and values –that form a moral person’s outlook and conduct throughout their lives. Inaugurating a moment of silence in every public and private school at the beginning of the day will help to focus the attention of the young student on the importance of recognizing that our conduct must reflect the will and desire of the Creator and Master of the Universe.
Each person, irrespective of his or her socio-economic background, faith community or ethnicity, race or creed, is responsible to answer to a Higher Power called G-D. A moment of silence will impress on each child and young adult that there is an “eye that sees and an ear that hears,” irrespective of one’s level of observance.
As such, each person bears an ethical and moral responsibility to conduct themselves accordingly Experience and logic has shown that a humanistic approach to ethics and morals alone cannot educate a generation of well-adjusted citizens.
Without the knowledge and awareness of a Creator, the temptation to act out at will with neither conscience and sense of responsibility contributes to the breakdown of civility and the increase of carnage and violence. A misplaced sense of entitlement leads misguided and disturbed people to harm others and to act out in a destructive and disruptive manner. A daily moment of silence and reflection has the power and the ability to help form the moral and ethical development of society and the individual.
While recognizing the need for the separation of religion and state, this moment of silence will not condone or promulgate a particular set of religious beliefs but rather set the tone for the day for people of all backgrounds to reflect upon their responsibilities towards themselves and others in a more productive and proper way.
The Rabbinical Alliance of America calls on the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as the department of Education, to implement a moment of silence in all of our public schools and institutions of learning to benefit our country and thus help protect our society from the scourge of violence within our schools and houses of worship.
Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht
Rabbinical Alliance of America