PLEASE, NEVER AGAIN
April 27, 2019
The wounding and killing at the Chabad Synagogue of Poway, California, on the last day of Passover is just not another day in the history of violence in America and the World. The growing terror of anti-Semitism has deep historical roots. In light of the more recent attacks on Jewish people in their places of worship, we must confront the root causes of anti-Jewish hatred and do whatever it takes to remedy this unfortunate situation.
The nineteen-year-old shooter declared he was “saving his people” as if Jews were somehow a threat to his future well-being and our Nation’s survival. We need to understand where and from whom a nineteen-year-old boy would learn such hatred. He claims he plotted for four weeks before carrying out his murderous assault. If we were to examine his four-week descent into the conviction others must be murdered, we will find a sorrowful history of hatred that benefits nobody.
The tragedy that is this boy’s life retells the story of why it is necessary to celebrate the Passover. We, as a people and a World, need to be delivered from the clutches of hatred and violence. We need to be delivered from all the hatred that would enslave us.
Once again, the time has come for us as a people and a World, to confront any form of hatred or prejudice that might lurk in our hearts. The time has come to examine our public and religious speech to ensure that institutional violence is not unwittingly preserved in our teachings, our prayers, or our public worship. We must make it a priority in our public and governmental life to elect leaders who will uncompromisingly stand up for human rights and not use one religion against another for political advantage.
It is more than painful to once again need to express our sympathy and solidarity with our sisters and brothers who have been victimized by this senseless and unspeakable violence.
Let us together enter into the Synagogue of our hearts and assure one another, especially our Jewish sisters and brothers, that we will confront and remove all forms of anti-Semitism and religiously motived violence from our hearts, lives, and institutions.
We stand with Rabbi Anvari, who continued his sermon after being shot in the hand, by saying:
“One message from all of us in our congregation is that we are standing together. We are getting stronger. Never again. You can’t break us. We are strong.”
Let us stand together praying and hoping that our work and dedication to peace will soon bless and transform this World.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.,
With the Board of Directors
The Interfaith Peace Project