Ezra, almost 8, had his hip hop dance recital this morning with the downtown dance factory in TriBeCa. He’s been practicing for months and although it is Shavuot morning we all showed up with pride. The show featured 250 kids ages 2-14 and the finale had them all on stage dancing to ‘I need a hero’. I sat there sobbing as these beautiful children danced their heart out, while knowing that the death toll of innocent dancers in Orlando is rising by the minute making this the worse shooting to date in American history. 

So yes we need heroes and heroines, gay, straight, Muslim, other, standing up with zero tolerance to hate speech, homophobia, racism, segregated bathrooms, gun access, greed, fear and shaming.

We need heroes and heroines who will stand fearlessly for pride and love for all. 

May the rest of Ramadan and pride month help heal the wounded, console all mourners, build bridges of compassion instead of further barricading ourselves against each other. 

Let memories be blessings and may we all step up, humble heroes helping make our world more loving and safer for our kids to dance fearlessly and with pride. 

Join me tonight, 7pm, with many other communities including Lab/Shul for an interfaith vigil at Judson Memorial Church. 

May memories become blessing. And may we dance, together, on holy days, sacred months and just because we can.

Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie

PRIDE Week in Tel Aviv - LGBTQ Jewish mission to Israel
Killed by Isolation: Amichai's speech at Orlando Vigil