Greensboro — It is easy at times of violence to feel as if the good and the light must have fled from the world. Today was the final day of Pesach, the festival of the liberation of my people’s ancestors from Egypt. It was also a difficult day to remember the good and the light in the world. My mind recalls Psalm 88, an invocation into the void, directed at an absent God, a plea for prayers unanswered to go unanswered no longer: “Do You work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise to praise You? […] Why, O LORD, do You reject me, do You hide Your face from me?” It is a song in a spiritual minor key, bereft entirely of hope. We cannot know what trials the author of Psalm 88 may have faced. Nonetheless, it is easy, at times of violence such as the recent synagogue shooting in Poway, to feel similarly bereft of hope.
It is all the more incredible, then, to see us take our grief, our shock, and our anger, and turn them into hope, as invariably happens in the wake of tragedy. We must continue to do so now: although the sinister threat of antisemitism (and many other equally pernicious -isms) rises in our world, we must stand with the Jewish community and all communities affected by hate crimes and resolve that we shall not succumb. We will not give in to hatred, we will not give in to ignorance, and we will not give in to those who would silence us. Not just as Democrats, but as human beings. We will continue to hope. We will continue to believe that no one should have to feel fear in their place of worship, on their day of rest, at the conclusion of their holy festival, and that this is a world which we can build together.