Perspective...this is a word that guides me every day in my life. When I try to accomplish anything, whether it be teaching a class, telling a story or whatever, it is the perspective of those I am speaking with that guides me. Sometimes, though, the bigger picture comes flying right at me, causing me to readjust my perspective, and perhaps to see other nuances I may have missed. Today, this happened. My perspective was changed, in the blink of an eye.
You see, this morning Batya and I found out we were going to have a boy in August. Both of us hoped for and perhaps prayed for a boy...but in the end, what we really wanted was a healthy baby. Now, as we were told this morning we would have a boy, we were elated and overjoyed. "Finally..." as some put it. We were going to complete the Atlanta Boxts with a boy...
And, then, within a matter of minutes, my perspective changed. I turned on my computer at work and read about the massive terrorist attack that took place in Brussels, Belgium. I read of the 30+ people that were killed and the hundreds that were injured. My perspective went from elated joy to anger, frustration, sadness and even fear. Yes - fear - for my children, for my family, for my friends, and for all of those families in Belgium and around the world that lost something so precious to them.
And, then, just a little while later, I met with a Bat Mitzvah student and watched as she nailed her Torah portion and her blessings. I was overjoyed at her excitement and happiness as she prepares for her "big day." And, then, just a little while later, I met with a wedding couple who is going to be making a lifetime pledge to each other in just a few weeks. So many blessings, so much wonder...and yet,
I cannot get the pictures from the cowardly attack in Belgium out of my head. My mind is spinning as I try to understand. I cannot...a life is so precious - and the killing or taking of an innocent life is too difficult to comprehend. As we learn in Tractate Sanhedrin of the Talmud, "...if anyone causes a single soul to perish, Scripture considers it as though the person caused a whole world to perish..."(Sanhedrin 4:) And, yet, it still happened.
There is so much evil - so much hatred in the world. And, YET, there IS so much good and so much love in the world as well. I yearn for the day when the love overtakes the hate...when the good overtakes the evil. I know it is possible; I refuse to believe it is not. I look in the eyes of my children and of the children I see everyday at my synagogue and I see love...I see hope. It is there...
May we all live one day (hopefully very soon) in a world full of love and goodness...
My prayer for those families who lost their precious loved ones:
May God hold you in God's arms, telling you your loved ones are now safe.
May God bless you with his love, reminding you that God is still there and love is too.
May each of you wake up tomorrow with less pain then you have today.
May each of you go forward in your lives, knowing your loved ones will never be forgotten.
May all people of the world learn to embrace one another, sharing our commonalities and celebrating our differences.
May all people of the world wake up tomorrow, refreshed and ready to fight for good and fight for love.
Kein Yehi Ratzon - May this be God's Will...
Rabbi Erin Boxt