Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reflections on the Connecticut School Attack

Within this past week all of us became mourners for those brutally murdered in the evil attack on an elementary school in Connecticut. As has been said many times already, every parent in our nation no doubt felt with particular agony the loss of so many young children, but I imagine that the humanity of each and every one of us was touched, too. There can be no simple answers, there is nothing special that I can say. Our tradition advises us to act as God's agents to provide comfort to those who mourn. You can find on our website,, links to a number of organizations that are working to support the survivors of the attack. Our tradition also suggests that we grant an additional measure of eternal life to those who die by choosing to live lives inspired by them. Thus, their words and deeds continue to echo in those which we say and do in their memory. Among numerous other ways, let us not hesitate to show our love and affection for those about whom we care, most particularly young people. And let us also express our gratitude to those whose calling in life it is to help to educate the next generation for the passion and devotion that motivates them. And finally let me say this. Judaism is not a political party, it is a religion. And while it should inform Jews as to how they operate in the political sphere, it is not, itself, so little as to be a political philosophy only, it is an entire way of life and a moral scheme for living. On those terms, it can advise us regarding one more matter touching upon this horrific event. Judaism teaches us, just as Jewish history teaches us, that evil exists in this world. And furthermore that evil frequently find a home in strikingly mundane places; while it produces monsters, those monster rarely look the part. Judaism then should remind us that in striving as a nation to see that such an attack never happen again, our goal should be to undo evil, to see it rendered as powerless to harm as possible. The means towards achieving that goal should not be confused with the goal itself. It will be a complex and long process to make permanent, effective strides towards combating evil, but then again, Judaism is not about making things easy, it is about making things right. And I think in this case, it is worth the effort. Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Benson

1 comment:

  1. Ahmeyn, especially on your comment that:
    "Judaism is not a political party"