The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis — joins the entire United States in mourning those murdered today in a mass shooting in Odessa, Texas. Innocent victims, holy people created by the Lord, were slaughtered in cold blood. We cry for their loss and pray for the families and communities of the deceased. As a country, we struggle to understand the inhumanity wrought by dangerous lunatics. In the wake of these murderous, the RAA calls for more brotherly love, community building and prayer to the Almighty to heal this fractured society.

On Saturday, August 31, 2019, a gunman killed four people and injured 21 others were injured in a series of shootings near Odessa. According to police, there were 25 shooting victims, including police officers. The string of incidents began with a traffic stop. A police officer stopped the driver, who proceeded to shoot the officer. The attacker fled along the highway, shooting at multiple people along the way. The police managed to fatally shoot the assailant.

The RAA condemns this inhumane act of cold-blooded murder.  Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, stated, “Words cannot express our outrage. As Jews, we are sadly all too familiar with terror, hate and violence, and the trauma of living with fear of violence. With join the people of Odessa, Texas and the law enforcement community in mourning these tragic losses. The wanton disregard of life demonstrated by these murders, the casual violence and murder, expresses a dismissal of the sanctity of human life. Every person is created in the divine image and deserves a chance to live a full life. We call upon every decent peace-loving person to lock hand in hand and to condemn this violence and resolve upon ourselves as human beings and as Americans to respect each other.”

Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht, presidium chairman of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, called upon “members of the Jewish faith to say additional prayers for the victims of the Odessa massacre and to pray that, as Americans, we should never see such acts of death and destruction again. The only way to combat hate is through love and acts of kindness. We urge all decent people to build and strengthen local communities to provide care in times of need and support in times of stress. This country needs more prayer, more faith and more love.”