Today is a day filled with sorrow. As once again, our hearts are broken for the more than 120 innocents murdered across Paris. We ache for them, for their families and friends, and for their nation which is under siege.
Today is a day when we stand in solidarity with the French people from all walks of life and diverse beliefs. In one voice, we denounce the violent extremists – apparently ISIS followers – who claim “credit” for butchering people just going about their lives in restaurants, concerts and as they moved across their city.
We also mourn and draw attention to the over 40 Lebanese deliberately slaughtered only days ago – including Sh’ia Muslims, Christians and Druse – by two ISIS suicide bombers in Beirut.
We remember in profound sorrow the Israelis and Palestinians – Jews, Christians and Muslims – who are dying amid a rapidly escalating cycle of condemnation, division and violence in their homeland.
We recognize the Muslim and Christian Syrians who are desperately seeking to escape from the horrors that ISIS and others are inflicting on them in what was once a thriving nation.
And we must not allow ourselves to forget Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler who we all mourned, when he washed onto a beach as his family sought to escape the constant terror that Syrians now face.
Today, with one voice, we must remember the horror of Paris and horrors across our globe. But we must do more. We must reaffirm our commitment to the core values in our many traditions and beliefs, and to our shared humanity.
There are many possible responses to today’s horror in Paris. Sadness fills us. But this is also a time to recommit to one another. To standing together amid our many differences, to honoring our neighbors and joining with them to stand against the aberrant extremism that threatens us all.
Let us stand together and, with strength, proclaim enough!
Joyce S. Dubensky