Invocation by Rabbi Evan Goodman at the UCSB Memorial Program

Friends, I am Rabbi Evan Goodman from Santa Barbara Hillel, and it is my profoundly sad privilege to be on this podium with other leaders of our Isla Vista faith communities.

The four of us who will offer brief remarks to begin and end represent more than just four faiths.

We represent the many different backgrounds, religions, and family traditions that make up our campus and community.

We represent the hope present in the interfaith community.

Because, that which unites us is so much stronger than whatever divides us.

Because, in this time of grief and pain and questioning we must draw closer to one another than ever before.

There is darkness in this world.

What can we do to begin to dispel this darkness?

The 5,000 candles on Saturday night shone brightly from UCSB to Isla Vista.

The loving embraces, hugs given freely to friends as well as strangers, brought more light into this world.

What defines us as human beings, is not the tragedies we face, but how we choose to respond to those tragedies.

We may want to ask “Why?” And that is a fine question.

But today I implore us to ask ourselves, “What will we do to honor the memory of these six amazing individuals?”

“How will we help make this world a better place?”

“How will we bring a little more light into a place of darkness?”

May each one of us be a blessing to each other, and by doing so, may we give the lives of these 6 precious souls everlasting meaning and purpose.