Mesorah (Jewish stuff)

Solace from Tragedy

Today is our fifth wedding anniversary.  I was going to write something about marriage, or husbands, or something like that.  Something light.

But if you’ve been paying attention to the news from Friday, you’ll understand why I don’t feel capable of writing something lighthearted.  Not right now.  I don’t think I’m even able to do a very coherent post, certainly not an eloquent one.


We are all crying with the families of the victims now.  We are all heartbroken, numb, hugging our loved ones a little closer, giving our children a little more attention and patience.

Whenever something like this happens, one of the first questions is usually “how could this happen?”  For some, it’s “how could G-d let it happen,” for others it’s society, or the government, or whatever.  But we all wonder why.  And we will never know.

After the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, I remember learning the concept that everything we do has an impact in the world.  In the language of Judaism, every mitzvah, good deed, adds light to the world.  Adds light to the darkness which is constantly threatening to swallow us up.

This concept brings me solace in times like these.  After the hurricane, the war in Israel, and this unfathomable tragedy, the idea that by doing good, we are helping. Even if it’s imperceptible.  Even if it feels like the horrors and the evil are just too much to battle.

I saw this on Facebook.  Maybe it’s a place to start:

sandy hook

May all the mourners be comforted, may the memory of the victims be for a blessing, and may we only hear good news and know peace in our time.

8 thoughts on “Solace from Tragedy

  1. “But we all wonder why. And we will never know.” Yes–so true. People want to blame, explain, find the root cause. It’s never one thing. And we can never really know. Best we can do is DO good . . . not say good things and feel good things, but DO good. Thanks for this, Rivki.

  2. I remember reading something by Jerusalem Post columnist Moshe Kohn years ago, in which he referred to advice by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the exact advice, but I think it was something like this: The Rebbe said that when bad things happen, we should focus on doing good deeds for other people, and that will bring the Geulah. To which Moshe Kohn added: Even if it doesn’t, it can’t hurt.

    1. This is kind of hashgacha, because I just read something on during the most recent war in Israel about how the Rebbe said during difficult times we should focus on doing mitzvos. And Mr. Kohn brings a good point for those who may not be so religiously inclined. It can’t hurt.

  3. In addition to what you said, light always wins over the darkness if we let the light shine in the darkness. Thanks for reminding me of that fact.

    And happy anniversary! I hope you and your husband enjoy your day today.

  4. Beautifully said. The world we are in is a constant paradox of light and dark, tears and laughter, clarity and confusion. Happy anniversary to you and your husband and may you continue to bring so much light into this world.

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