Mr. George Floyd

Shalom mishpochah,

On Saturday morning I had opened our service with a statement I prepared concerning the grievous and tragic death of  Mr. George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

I have attached that statement and ask that we all take to prayer and action to promote the kind of justice that honors our Almighty God. Let’s pray for our land, pray for the deep hurt and grief felt more strongly by the African-American community as well as for our police and law enforcement agencies.

All across this great land of ours citizens are horrified and extremely grieved by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota.

This was senseless and didn’t have to happen, there should have been a better outcome.  Despite the pleas of Mr. Floyd, along with the passionate appeals of onlookers at the scene, their voices were ignored and a man’s life was literally snuffed out.

This was a blatant and gross travesty of justice. I for one am deeply agitated by this and stand with the protesters; however not with the ones committing acts of violence and vandalism.

This reprehensible development is not an indictment on the State of Minnesota, nor is it an indictment of the United States or of the President.  This is not an indictment on law enforcement, the brave preservers of order and civility.

This is an indictment towards those officers who’ve betrayed the public trust, who’ve failed to uphold the higher standards of protecting and serving. They heinously acted with a cold, callous indifference. This, along with their abuse of authority and their sadistic and unprofessional manner, makes one heartsick.

Few things are more infuriating than a miscarriage of justice. Justice delayed or justice that’s non-existent fuels the fires of anger and animus which in turn leads to increased mayhem and mistrust!

This, along with the recent senseless shooting of a jogger in Georgia, causes our hairs to stand on end. These kinds of injustices resonate deeper and strike a more intense emotional chord within the African-American community. For this community, the death of George Floyd arouses anew the deep pain of racism, bringing forth remembrances of the long historic bias of the criminal justice system.

The problem is not with God’s laws, the problem is not with the U.S. Constitution; the problem is not uniquely American; the problem we face rests with humanities inability to abide by God’s Divine words.

In this time of deep shock and grief, may God strengthen and equip us to valiantly pursue justice. We beseech the Almighty to pour forth His grace and compassion. And, may we never allow the “Dream” of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King to fade into history.

May we all embrace with greater passion these words of the prophet Micah:

He has told you, humanity, what is good, and what Adonai is seeking from you: Only to practice justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

Respectfully, lovingly and honoring Adonai and our neighbor as ourselves.

Rabbi Frank Lowinger

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