The congregants and their Charleston neighbors have shown us a stronger power to change hearts and minds. And they are not alone.
While we are busy debating what the flag represents in the minds of those who see it compared to those who wish to fly it, we are not talking about the issues that really matter.
When I was a scout on my first camp-out, each boy in the troop was assigned a task; some scouts were in charge of the food; some took care of the large canisters of Kool-Aid and water; some helped with tent raising; and others, usually at least one older boy along with a couple of younger scouts, were in charge of the fire pit.
Without a doubt, the events that transpired in Charleston, S.C. are tragic, and the premature loss of any life is something we collectively mourn. My heart and mind are with those of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Teachers have to be allowed to teach and sensitive subjects must be allowed to be breached. Sandy Hook was a tragic event that no one wishes to see happen again, but we should also never forget.
How many more times are we going to hear about a crazed gunman walking into a school armed and ready to kill? How many more innocent children need to die before we wake up and prepare our teachers to fight back?
Today my kids learn to deal with equally senseless attacks and murderous individuals. Once again, the vocabulary of measurement is dusted off. They practice the difference between Code Red, Code Green, and Code Yellow, and the instructions Lockdown, Closedown, Closed Campus and Shelter-in-Place.
When inexplicable tragedies happen, we seek to find an avenue for blame. If we can establish blame, we can establish cause. If we can establish cause, then, maybe, we can find a way to keep it from happening again.
Why was my alleged oversharing potentially damaging to my son's future? Because we should be ashamed of his illness? Or because the writers who criticize me are ignorant about mental illness? Would you like to know what is actually damaging to my son and his future?
As a mother, I felt optimistic 15 years ago that we could stop the horror of burying our children before their time. Yet today it's easy to despair that nothing will change as few in my legislature even bother to stand up to debate for those who are slaughtered by guns. I cannot accept this.
Resilience is best defined in practice as the ability to recover. It's a hard topic to bring up regarding school violence prevention - no doubt - but important when we can recognize success stories.
Emilie's birth and Mother's Day are emotionally so connected for me. They are one and the same. I was truly blessed to have been given such a sweet angel, and since her death at Sandy Hook, I have missed her every moment of every day.
As a rabbi, I am enraged not at guns but at the casual violence afflicting our country, and the way we have grown immune to it. I do not accept the NRA's claim that "guns are not the problem," but I do agree that guns are not the main problem. This is a moral crisis, and it requires a moral response.
Is it unreasonable to imagine that a child or children in one part of the world may be helped, simply because one person in another part of the world decided to run a few miles?
The members of our union will not condone officers abusing their communities' trust. But we will always stand with officers across this nation who keep us safe and who strengthen our communities. It is sickening to see law enforcement targeted with violence, as they have been nationwide in recent months.
Newtown Kindness is an organization which was was formed after 6-year-old Charlotte Bacon passed away in the Sandy Hook school shootings.