I woke up this morning to the funeral for the eight Jewish students killed in Jerusalem overnight (for me in the US).
Today is Rosh Chodesh (the first of the month of) Adar II (it’s a leap year, so we have two Adar). Adar is a month of joy, of happiness, especially now that we are on our way to Purim, our happiest holiday. How am I supposed to be happy now? How am I supposed to be happy when I see eight children (one was 26, the others between 13 – 15) killed simply because they are Jews? From where can I gather simcha?
I am angry, and torn, and in pain. The only crime these children commited was being Jews in a religious school studying in the library. Will this ever end?
Baruch Dayan Emet – Blessed is the Judge of Truth/Blessed is the True Judge. That is what we say when we hear that someone has died. G-d, only G-d, knows why this had to happen, why now, why them. We do not understand it. We tear our clothes in mourning, and cry to heaven. In reciting the prayer for the dead what we do is laud G-d, for He is the one who knows, and our consolation. It doesn’t make this any easier.
I want to rage, to scream, to shout horrible things at those responsible for this, to curse the young man who took these lives, to condemn his soul to damnation with every fiber of my being. But I won’t. That will only hurt me, my soul, and those of the deceased. It’s virulent energy and there’s enough of that in the world. I do rail against the mindset that rejoices in this attrocity, the mindset that could very well target me one day, simply because of who and what I am, a Jew. But I will not go down to its level, hard as hell as that is right now.
As I prepare for Shabbat today, I will keep these eight souls in mind. I will recite psalms for them, and light up a yarzeit candle in their memory. I will find joy somewhere in this, because I know that it will help to elevate these eight souls up to the Throne of Glory.
G-d help us that we may find peace in our time, amen.