We who believe in freedom cannot rest. . .


We who believe in freedom cannot rest.

We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.                  

                         -Bernice Johnson Reagon


We sang these words last night; Jews, Christians and Muslims from forty-four different Philadelphia congregations who gathered together to grieve and to pray in the wake of the horrific massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. We sat beside each other in the pews of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church as we listened to words of comfort and calls to action from Reverend Mark Kelly Tyler and other religious leaders. The worship choir of Mother Bethel moved us to tears and to our feet with their voices. We remembered Depayne Middleton Doctor, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, The Reverend Honorable Clementa C. Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, The Reverend Dr. Daniel Simmons Sr., Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson, those whose lives were hatefully taken from them as they came together in their house of worship Wednesday evening to study and to pray.  Bishop Dwayne Royster, the Executive Director of POWER: An Interfaith Movement, said, “Today, we grieve. Tomorrow, when we wake up, we work. Today, we mourn. Tomorrow, we recommit.” May this Shabbat restore our hope and give us the strength to recommit to working for a country free from hatred, racism and gun violence and a world of dignity and justice for all.