Friday, April 20, 2007

Shabbat Ideas - April 20, 2007

With the worst shooting in US history behind us, here are my Shabbat thoughts.

Guess what the NRA is a bunch of gun-toten anti-Semites
Berlin Once Again Hot Spot for Jewish Thought
I don’t recall being so pissed off about politics because I don’t recall if I could hate a president this much

Shabbat is about peace and wholeness. A time to slow down and think about life, family, and the other important things. Yet I can’t get away from the fact that as my nation mourns the loss of 32 bright people that my life goes on. I suppose we all want to be connected to this tragedy. And I also suppose it is only natural to vilify the shooter in anyway we can.

I was in an elevator on Monday afternoon with people bragging about how they “knew” what was going on and how people were feeling at VaTech. They said “oh we know how it feels, we are from Colorado.” Then after some oh-ing and ah-ing one said, “Yes but we don’t know anyone who died at Columbine.” They know because they watched a lot of TV and knew parents of children who attended Columbine, but thank God now attend college.

I also wanted to find a connection. But I don’t have one. None. My closest connection was my co-worker’s brother’s friend who was in the building when the shooting started. I don’t know my co-worker’s brother. But I know my co-worker and that is my closest connection. Others are touched deeply by this unbelievably shocking event but we all want to explain it.

It seems as if I have started what could be another tiff with my friend Yael at BtB. She did assume —even with asking a question— that the shooter was a Muslim. Who cares if he was a Muslim or a Christian or Jew or for that matter what it turns out he was, anti-religious? This clearly was an act of a mad man. Like all acts of terrorism, this act was done with a clear purpose according the terrorist, thinking he (or she) was doing what needed to be done. He painted himself the victim placing the blame on those he killed and maimed. There is nothing rational about this action; it is simply crazy and detached from reality.

I am offended by these acts of violence and I can’t explain it. No one can, it is unexplainable and inexcusable. And the worst part is that nothing will be taken away from this tragedy, for they continue to take the lives of innocent people. From Columbine to VaTech, nothing good will come of this. And that is what is so unbelievably sad on this Erev Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom

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