Memorial Shira BankiTranslation of Rav Benny Lau’s speech, given at the rally in Kikar Zion, on the Motzei Shabbat following the stabbings at the Jerusalem Pride Parade

 

If a corpse will be found on the land…
And it was not known who smote him…
And all the elders of that city shall speak up and say,
“Our hands spilled this blood”
It is not possible to say “our hands did not spill this blood”
Anyone who ever sat at a Shabbat table, in a school classroom, in a synagogue, on a soccer field, at a club or community center, who heard those racist jokes, who heard those homophobic jokes, who heard  the crude language and did not stand up to stop it, they are an accomplice to this bloodshed.
We’ve all heard it; there isn’t anyone here who has not heard it
We cannot tolerate that after the stabbings last Thursday evening that anyone should say they condemn the attack because “a Jew does not stab another Jew”.
That is racist!
A Jew does not stab another person! Period.

All those who prayed today in synagogues across the country
All those who prayed, just today heard with their own ears the Ten Commandments
They stood and heard the commandment “Thou shall not kill”
In the name of what Torah??
In the name of what G-d does a person go and murder? Do people burn alive an infant with an entire family?
Whose Torah is that?
It all begins with our words at home.
With our words in our youth movements.
With our words in schools.
We must take responsibility.
No one, nobody should ever have to live in a closet.
A closet (casket) is death!
A home is life, and you should choose life  “ובחרת בחיים”.
We must take care that no boy or girl, or teenager, or man or woman ever be afraid to live in a house that is open and full of warmth and love.
This is our responsibility in the name of the Torah in the name of the G-d of Israel and in the name of the people that that wish to live here in this land.
My dearly beloved,
With are in a high-risk environment
We sing “Love will win”
We must create waves and waves of love
We need to release people from fear
We need to stand with our faces exposed
Without hesitating, and without stammering,
If our ears hear someone,- and it doesn’t matter if they are a rabbi or educator, or counselor or parent-  if we hear the slightest sound that can hurt, we must stop them in the first moment
The fire begins there- it begins with the first insult, with the small racial slur- and not in the big inferno.
My dearly beloved, these events are horrible
We sometimes thing that an event like this with change the world
But an event like this is the first chord of a very long melody that each of us must take home with us and out to every place
We need to release the Torah of Israel from the restraints that have been clamped on by dark people
The Torah is a torah of light
Judaism has to be a light to the world
And Jerusalem has to be a light to the entire world
Amen

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