Note – On June 5th, 1968, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was fatally shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, shortly after winning the California presidential primaries in the 1968 election. He died the next day while hospitalized. Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian/Jordanian immigrant, was convicted of Kennedy’s murder and sentenced to death in 1969, although his sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972.
By Rabbi Rick Sherwin
Robert F Kennedy is one of my American political heroes by virtue of his focus on people and his vision for the future. Kennedy spoke out for racial and economic justice, for peace in place of a senseless war, and for social change. He was an energizing source for the youngest generation of voters in America.
After winning the California presidential primary, he was shot by Sirhan B. Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian, in retaliation for Kennedy’s ongoing support for Israel. It was the first anniversary of Israel’s decisive victory in the Six-Day War.
Bobby’s brother, Ted, eulogized him with these words: “The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of new ideas and bold projects. Rather it will belong to those who can blend vision, reason, and courage in a personal commitment to the ideals and great enterprises of American Society.”
Kennedy concluded with this quote:
“Some people see things as they are and ask “Why?” I dream things that never were and ask, Why not?”
Rick Sherwin is the Rabbi at Congregation Beth Am in Longwood. He is a graduate of UCLA and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He energetically fills spiritual services and educational programs with creativity, relevance, dialogue, and humor.