A More Compassionate World: Renewal Reflections on Boston

Rabbi David Ingber_28A0103

by Rabbi David Ingber

This week, we watched again as an act of unspeakable brutality was committed against innocent victims.

We watched, as yet again, violence tore at the fabric of our basic sense of safety and security, our core trust in life’s predictability.

A piece of our collective innocence is lost each time human cruelty of this magnitude finds us, each time we witness  pain and suffering inflicted wantonly, cruelly.

And yet, a piece of our collective power and potency is activated each time we respond, as so many did and are doing, from compassion and a sense of our common humanity. We have witnessed yet again, our innate and insistent need to reach out, to help out, to step in, to heal, to help,  and to hold. We mourn with all of those who have lost loved ones, whose lives will forever be changed by what occurred in those 12 seconds.

This coming week we will read the double Parsha (portion), Acharei Mot-Kedoshim. The actual names of the Parsha, our Chassdic wisdom masters teach us, tell a story themselves, each name part of a 1-2 step that defines spiritual life.
Acharei Mot literally means, ‘after the death of’ and refers to the death of Aaron’s two sons, Nadav and Avihu. Kedoshim, literally means, ‘holy ones’. Our masters teach, ‘after death, after witnessing life cut short, unexpectedly, without warning or preparation, ‘holy ones’, rededicate yourselves to holiness, to making the world a more meaningful, more loving, more compassionate place to be.

During the darkest of times, a light shines forth from simple, tender acts of love. That light illuminates our despair, restores our faith in life and reminds us that we will not let fear win. We are so much bigger, so much better than that which claimed innocent lives in Boston. Though we were touched by evil, it is we who have the power to transform darkness to light and hatred to love.

As we grieve together, allowing ourselves to feel our rage, our shock and our deep sadness, let us also reaffirm our commitment to loving and being loved, to stretching to support those around us and allowing ourselves to be supported.

“We are supported by hands that uplift us, even in the midst of a fall”

In blessing for peace,

Rabbi David A. Ingber

Reprinted with permission http://romemu.org/