The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
I had the opportunity two days ago to attend the prayer vigil hosted by the Temple in downtown Atlanta for the victims of the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. Gray and I went to show our solidarity and support as people of faith. It was deeply moving. There were words offered by rabbis, pastors, imams, community leaders, the mayor, and the CEO of the Jewish business leader association in Atlanta. The latter had grown up in Squirrel Hill where the shooting took place.
He spoke of his personal grief. He is a father, and his daughter is preparing for her Bat Mitzvah three weeks away. He told her she would do well to make some additions to her speech in light of this recent event in Pittsburgh. Her response shocked him. His daughter, keenly aware of today's rapid news cycle and our ongoing apathy to these types of shootings said, "But will anyone still remember this by then?"
Brothers and sisters, her words are a challenge to us all. We owe the dead a deep responsibility of memory. This Sunday, we will remember our Saints who have died this year from our community of faith. It is important to remember and honor them. But when people have been killed, we owe them even more than memory. We owe to them the work of bettering this world so that no one else dies for the same reasons of hatred and cruelty, difficult access to mental healthcare or easy access to hate groups and weapons. The child's words are our challenge to listen to our great Rabbi, Christ, to pray and to work for a kingdom here on earth like it is in heaven.