First, I want to give my apologies about not writing about these two tragedies earlier. I am not really a journalist, but I feel like as a writer I have a special duty to speak after such tragedies. So here it goes: the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. To show our love for the children of Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, we must act. For if we do not act, our words are meaningless. No doubt that this has itself been said over and over since Sandy Hook in Connecticut. In my memory there was another such tragedy at Columbine in Colorado, though at that time these incidents were much rarer and I was in High School myself. The point is, we must act.
I myself plan to write both my senator and my house of representative member. They are Republicans, but perhaps there in one or both of them a conscience still waiting to be awakened. Also I will say a few prayers tonight. Sometimes I am forgetful about my prayers, but this time I shall try to say something about the innocent children being murdered while going to school. And I will leave this following scriptural quotation because in a sense it is so relevant to the collection of little corpses at two more schools:
Lonely sits the city
Once great with people!
She that was great among nations
Is become a widow;
The princess among states
Is become a thrall.
Bitterly she weeps in the night,
Her cheek wet with tears.
There is none to comfort her
Of all her friends…
With their own hands, tenderhearted women
Have cooked their children;
Such became their fate,
In the disaster of my poor people…
But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever,
Your throne endures through the ages.
Why have You forgotten us utterly,
Forsaken us for all time?
Take us back, O LORD, to Yourself
And let us come back;
Renew our days of old!
Lamentations 1:1-2; 4:10; 5:19-21
Jews believe that it is possible to live in exile even while living in the Promised Land itself. So it is that perhaps as long as these shootings exist in America, the people live in exile, as described in Lamentations, with the Temple’s destruction being Lamentation’s major theme. We will rebuild our Temple with laws governing how guns can be used and who can use them… but we also need a rebirth of the soul, a recognition of the value of human beings which is the bases both of our various religious traditions and our shared civil religion.