In Memory of Daunte Wright z”l – Reflections by Rabbi Spilker on Monday night (April 12)

Tonight, as we are in our homes once again under curfew, we are incredulously mourning the death of a 20-year-old, Daunte Wright, another Black man killed by police.

Oh, we could dissect what happened and why, but the layering on of pain in a time already heightened with uncertainty during the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is too much. I pray that it will not be too much for our cities. I pray that we can mourn and express outrage and still wake up in the morning with our eyes focused on what needs to be done. Change is not a fast-moving option when it comes to anything labeled “systemic.” It will take years. It will take all of us. It will take being awake to many truths, discerning what tzedek/justice means in our day, and making reparation. And we cannot be complacent or too patient along the way.

Tonight is Rosh Chodesh Iyar, the beginning of a new month, a time our tradition calls a Yom Kippur Katan, a mini Yom Kippur, a time of reckoning and atonement. Tomorrow night we will begin Yom HaZikaron, Memorial Day for Israel. Between atonement and memory, may we find a way to prevent more loss, more broken hearts, more lives lost. May Daunte’s memory be for a blessing and a reckoning.