Rabbi Michael Latz of Shir Tikvah delivered the closing remarks at yesterday’s Rally for Our Right to be Free from Gun Violence, where Jewish Community Action joined hundreds of gun violence prevention advocates from across the state to fill the Capitol rotunda and demand meaningful action from our legislators. With his powerful appeal, Rabbi Latz reminded us why our gun violence prevention campaign is so important: Jewish tradition teaches us that, “when we save one precious human life, we save the world.” To join JCA and Rabbi Latz in this important and time-sensitive campaign, view our upcoming events and get involved. We need your help, and we need it now!
My name is Michael Adam Latz. I am Senior Rabbi at Shir Tikvah congregation in Minneapolis, and am so grateful to Protect Minnesota, Jewish Community Action, the National Council of Jewish Women, Mad Dads, Million Moms and all of you for standing up to protect our children and end gun violence now. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
First, an apology: To my sisters and brothers of color, who for years have been holding children shot dead on the streets of North Minneapolis and St. Paul and throughout our great state, you know personally the heart ache and costs of gun violence long before and during Columbine and Sandy Hook and everywhere in between, I’m sorry it took so long for us to wake up and join you. We are late. We are here. We are with you now. We’re moving forward together. Enough is enough!
Thank you to Protect Minnesota and all of our speakers and conveners of this gathering today. Thank you to each of you. We cannot do this holy work without each of you. Because THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!
Our African brothers and sisters are right: It takes a village to end gun violence. And it takes a village who know each another. This work is holy, inspiring and it can be difficult. We’re going to need to rely on one another for courage and encouragement, for the strength to keep going. I invite you to take 30 seconds—30 seconds—and turn to the people around you and introduce yourselves.
We are stronger when we stand shoulder to shoulder together to do this work.
We are, my friends, David verses a very well funded, well organized, relentless Goliath. A Goliath of cynicism, despair, and fear. It is going to take our persistence, leadership, fundraising, and great moral courage to open hearts and transform laws. We didn’t get into this spiritual crisis in a single day and it will take us time to change. We must organize and come back here and talk with our legislators and listen to them and persist and persuade. Are you ready?
Are you ready to make phone calls and Tweet and Facebook to get your friends and communities involved?
Are you ready to show up and attend hearings?
Are you ready to talk with legislators and tell them to pass legislation that gets semi-automatic rifles and high magazines clips off the streets and enact universal background checks?
I close with words of ancient Jewish sages: Elohai Ahavah--God of Love--when we save one precious human life, we save the world. One life equals the world. Enough is enough! Let’s end gun violence now. C’mon people. Let’s get to work. Enough is enough!