What’s More Important?
Thank you to the many congregations who participated in last weekend’s Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath! Over 400 congregations of many faiths participated through special curricula at their religious schools, d’vrei torah, memorial concerts and more. The work that our congregations are doing around this issue is truly extraordinary, but one specific story came across my inbox yesterday that made me particularly proud to work for the Reform Movement.
Max Hakim of Congregation Kenneseth Israel in Allentown, PA recently became a bar mitzvah and, on that occasion, he focused his d’var torah around gun violence prevention. Max’s d’var torah is below:
I was asked to speak to you tonight because it is National Gun Violence Prevention Shabbat. I was bar mitzvahed a month ago and I want to speak with you about my Bar Mitzvah project.I chose my mitzvah project because it’s a very big deal. For my mitzvah project, I am selling wristbands that say “What’s More Important?” talking about the gun violence that is going on in America. The colors of the wristband are green and white, which are the Sandy Hook Elementary colors. I was shocked when I heard of the massacre in the school. It scared America, including me. I went back to school the next Monday and my teacher was crying because she was speaking about shooting. It really made me see how much it effected her too because she is a teacher and she couldn’t imagine how the teachers at Sandy Hook were feeling. Seeing an adult get scared really showed that it effected everyone. I will sell the wristbands trying to help put a stop to all of this madness. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, 18,270 children or teens died or were injured from guns in 2010. That is one every 30 minutes. Between 1979 and 2010, 119,079 children died from gun violence which is more deaths than US soldiers who died in the Vietnam, Korean, Afghanistan, and Iraq wars combined. I really understand that there is a difference between guns that are used for sports and semi- automatic guns that are being used for killing people. I believe ordinary citizens do not need to posses these guns. As a 13 year-old, I am trying to get people to realize that kid are being killed. As a 13-year old, I don’t understand why ordinary citizens need to have large amount of ammunition rounds. As a 13-year old, I don’t understand how our law- makers allow it. I am planning on raising money to fund an organization that is also trying to make the gun-violence stop. As a 13-year old, maybe I can make a difference.
To learn more, contact Max at firstname.lastname@example.org