The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis — calls for calm, respect, civility and peace as our nation grapples with shooting incidents that raise important questions about race. As people voice their protests to demand justice, they must do so in ways that reflect the responsibility of good citizenship.
America is a country built on laws that are deeply rooted in notions of equal protection and due process, even if too many times in history these rights have been overlooked. When we believe that these rights are denied to some of us, we have every legal and moral right to protest and demand justice. We are blessed to live in a country that provides a constitutional right to peacefully protest so that our voices will be heard, so that our outrage will be broadcast, so that our demands for change will be heeded. As we exercise our right to protest, we must ensure that we do not simultaneously violate other people’s rights. We must exercise the same sensitivity, care and concern that we expect from others so that our outrage and emotions do not transform into disaster that negatively impacts individuals and society as a whole. We live in a polarized age of deep divisiveness and volatility. We need to be extra cautious not to allow grievances and concerns and the pursuit of justice to tear apart our nation and create additional acrimony and friction.
Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America (RAA) remarked that, “the RAA appreciates that the pursuit of justice is paramount. The RAA calls upon all aggrieved people to exercise their right to assemble and protest in a peaceful and respectful manner. We as a society must bear in mind and understand that actions and behavior can spark unintended consequences and results. It is important for the safety of all citizens that concerns about public safety are voiced. At the same time, we must recognize the important work of law enforcement officers and their contributions to the communities they serve. Our societal objective is to establish harmony, unity and respectful dialogue. This is the only way we as a nation can properly address national concerns, heal, move forward and arrive at appropriate resolutions.”
We pray that He who makes peace in Heaven make peace on His earth. We pray that justice be blind and fairly administered. We pray that we should as Americans and respect each other, and work to make this world a better place for all its inhabitants.