Posted November 16, 2015
With pain, horror, and profound disquiet, we have watched the violence in Paris – and its effects – unfold this weekend. Only two weeks ago, I led a Central Synagogue mission to Paris. How devastating it is to see this City of Light enveloped in such darkness.
The blows of violent extremism wounded many parts of the world in recent weeks, with suicide bombings in Beirut and Baghdad killing scores of people, and an attack on a Russian airplane over Sinai, which killed 220 people.
These events shake our sense of safety and our belief in humanity. They force us to revisit the role that religion and belief play in the world. But the evil acts of extremists groups should never be seen as genuine piety; they are a perversion of everything for which religion stands.
Gifted Somali-British poet Warsan Shire wrote:
later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
It hurts everywhere. And it hurts all of us. The pain of these attacks leaves us with a heightened anguish. We mourn the senseless loss of life. And we pray for light to dispel the darkness.
Yotzer Or Uvorey Choshesh, Oseh Shalom Uvoreh et Hakol.
Blessed are You, Who Forms Light and Creates Darkness, Who makes Peace and Creates All.
May the One who makes light and peace bring peace to the City of Light, and light to all those seeking peace everywhere.
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