The Rabbinical Alliance of America—Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis—calls for a national return to civility, dialogue and respect. Tragically, we live in challenging times in terms of political, racial and religious divisiveness that has torn our country asunder in so many ways. Moreover, each day we all delicately negotiate the deadliest pandemic in modern times. People are struggling on an existential basis and our collective soul has been severely challenged in ways that we never thought possible.
Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, stated, “The events of the last week have left us reeling as we witnessed a brutal assault on our democratic system. As Americans, we have fought so vigilantly to preserve the cherished principles of justice, liberty, freedom and the preservation of our individual rights. We remain keenly cognizant of the fact that our freedom can never be taken for granted. We constantly strive to ensure that our country’s constitutional values continue to guide this great nation. We call upon all Americans at this difficult time to summon up our best spirits and deepest reservoirs of faith and humanity in order to join together in unity, understanding and compassion.
“It is irrelevant whether one believes in the platform of one political party or another, or if one believes that one person or another should lead our country. We cannot and will not allow ourselves to morph into a nation that runs on mob mentality, acrimony and violence. This is not a nation that settles its disputes with physical assaults and the use of weaponry in the heart of democracy in our nation’s capital or elsewhere.
“With only a few days remaining until we inaugurate a new president, tensions still run high. Today, close to 20,000 National Guard troops are deployed in Washington, D.C., preparing to guard against threatened mass violence. Now is the time to tamp down the bellicose rhetoric and to rise to the occasion by changing the national narrative to one of true peace and camaraderie among neighbors, friends and relatives. Let us broadcast the message far and wide that civility, respect and decorum are the order of the day. Let us speak calmly with those with whom we disagree and allow everyone the right to express their views without the looming threat of bullying or intimidation. We protect our first amendment right of free speech by granting it to others. The charge of the day is to use this precious right wisely, in ways that reach out to others rather than close them off, in ways that break down the polarization of society rather than increase it.”
May He who makes peace in His heavens make peace on the earth. And may the Al-mighty bless the United States, and the republic for which it stands, to continue to be the hope and protector of freedom and democracy. (rabbinicalalliance.org)