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Posts Tagged ‘tragedy’

yahrzeit candle

Upon hearing of someone’s death we say, “ברוך דיין האמת / Baruch dayan ha-emet,” Blessed is the true judge.

While I often feel compelled to follow tradition, this expression is the source of great struggle for me. I don’t think Gd’s judgement causes death or holds truth. . .I just don’t. Tsunamis happen; earthquakes and volcanoes destroy; accidents occur. . . . Perhaps all of these happen because of things that humans have done, but I don’t think there is a force in the world that literally decides ‘who shall live and who shall die’.

I am so tired of people dying tragically, young, or with pain. Every time someone gets sick, gets murdered, tragically dies, or ages painfully – I struggle. Each time, a family has to bury their newborn or young child, I struggle.Basically, I struggle with the concept that any of this can be ordained.

Life is precious – all the moving parts of life, even death can be profoundly beautiful and feel Gd-like. And yet, I don’t feel that way when I hear about terrorism, murder, sudden accidents, or any tragedy. If I believed it all came from Gd, I couldn’t be the person I am. Sh^% happens. People die. Free-will causes great good in the world, horrible atrocities, and everything in the between.

As I embrace life, I find myself traumatized by the very notion that Gd may preordain our lives. I know that there are many that have such a belief, but as for me, I need to stick with the notion that godliness is possible.

May we all give and experience godliness energy in our midst. May we all have a spark that lights up the world for good.

 

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Death happens.  Sometimes we see it coming; sometimes it hits us by surprise.  But in the end, no one lasts forever.

When I consider the reality of death with broad strokes, I find myself in a quiet and peaceful space.  Death happens and that is really ok.  Mostly.

And then reality strikes.  Someone you love is dead and you can no longer talk to them; unspoken words are left unsaid.  After someone dies you can no longer hold them in your arms, kiss them on the forehead, or touch them gently in passing.  After someone you love dies, you can never physically do the the things you used to do with them.  Memories help you through the loss; while you can’t be with those you love physically, you can treasure the memories.

Tomorrow is never a given.

What I know is that life matters; each and every moment makes a difference.  If we are lucky we live fully and learn from both gifts and challenges.  Each step will ultimately lead us to where we are heading.  My hope is that I always live in a place of kindness and good intentions with not only those I love, but with the world around me.  Most of us don’t know when the end of our days will come.  Knowing that I live fully now and that my loved ones know they are loved is critical in my life.

A Moment of Reality

Nothing in life is perfect.  None of us are capable of being on our best behavior every moment of every day.  We are human beings; we have good days and more challenging ones.  May I always walk gently and may my spirit  be full of light.

You just never know what tomorrow will bring. . . .

Nearly two weeks ago, three families/people that I love faced the death of a loved one. The first death was for a young woman who’s entire energy reverberated life; she had so much to give and a rare illness stripped her of her life.  She died tragically after enduring tremendous pain.  The other two of the deaths were both tragic and sudden.  There is no words that I can say to help my beloved friends, all I can do is listen and surround them with loving energy.  My guess is due to the tragic nature of each death, sadness will quite possibly permeate the survivors for a very long time.

As a spectator in watching my friends experience grief, I find myself considering my  life and whether or not I am walking with integrity and light. Since you never know what tomorrow might bring, I want to know if I am making a difference in the life I live.  Will my children remember me with a spark in their eyes? Do I make people smile? Have I done enough to change the world? What more do I need to do to make a difference?  Should I reconsider some of my views and open my eyes a little more widely?  Have I made a difference in the lives of those I love, my friends, my students? Am I being the best person I can be?

I’ve made some mistakes in my connection with some people that I have loved.  Over the past few years, I have had to look deeply inside myself after navigating some very painful interactions.  Losing friends never feels good.  With each loss, I struggle to come to grips with with the fact that connections sometimes end and each ending feels like death.  Only you can’t sit shiva (mourn) for the loss of a good friend, not when they are alive and thriving outside of your life.  What I have learned in the last few years is that death can be both the finality of life and at times it can be the finality of a connection.

Life incorporates so many realities and few of them are simplistic.  May I always take the lessons I learn from life and from death and incorporate them into our life.  And may those that lost their loved ones find blessings in their memories.

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Last night we counted Day 31 of the Omer, which is 4 weeks and three days of the counting. Today is referred to as Tiferet sheh b’Hod, Beauty, Balance or Harmony within Expansiveness.

Have you ever noticed how some days just work?  All of the pieces of life’s puzzles come together as you would like and challenging moments don’t really trouble you.

Tiferet sheh b’Hod

Each of us have a story that makes us who we are at any given moment.  We have trials and tribulations; we have gifts and challenges happening at nearly every turn.  We have a past, a present, and a future.  Life always has a lot of moving parts and for the most part, we have a choice on how we experience the moving parts.

(Note: I do realize that tragedy never feels good and loss can be devastating.  And in the midst of pain, life can feel like hell.  From experience, I realize that awareness or insight comes only after the harshness of pain eases over time.  While I believe we have a choice how we walk through life’s darkness, we might not have a choice during the initial spark or as a disaster is absorbing our essence.  The choice will come days, weeks, months, or even years later when we have an opportunity to look back and find moments that worked or new ways to absorb the blow of reality.)

DoubleRainbow

Storms come and go.  Life happens and sometimes we have no control.  If we open our eyes real wide, we might find the rainbows that happen after the storm.  At those moments, I am always amazed that regardless of how I feel part of the larger world and I see the beauty that surrounds me with an open heart.

Tiferet sheh b’Hod, Beauty, Balance or Harmony within Expansiveness.

May we all find our rainbows within the beauty that encircles us.

 

 

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Tonight we counted Day 21  of the Omer, which is 3 weeks of the counting of the Omer. Today is referred to as Malkhut sheh b’Tiferet or Shekhinah within truth.   Tiferet is not simply beauty, it encompasses so much more; when you see the complete picture of Tiferet, you also see balance, harmony, and ultimately truth.  And Shekhinah is a way of looking at Malkhut (meaning kingdom).  When God or godliness dwells in one central location, you have a kingdom.

Gan Yarok  Marin County Cemetery Califonria

Gan Yarok:  Marin County Cemetery in California
So much loss. . . .yet light can emerge.

As we mourn the tragedy of the Boston Marathon or the death of 25 people mostly women and children murdered in Syria yesterday, it is important for us to remember that when we pool our hearts and souls together, we can still create the presence of Shekhinah wherever we are.  Loss is not beautiful; none of us yearn to feel the depth of despair.  My prayer for those of us they feel the national or even personal tragedy is that we do are part to ease the pain just a little.  By easing the pain for others, we are finding the Shekhinah within the beauty  or the Tiferet that does exist.

Last night my sons and I went to the Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) Service at our local Jewish Community Center.  There was nothing easy about that experience, but I felt the Shekhinah during each and every moment that we remembering those soldiers lost in service to Israel.

Tiferet can be also be found when I chant with others, hang with friends, go to services, take an art class, learn Torah, and hang with those I love!  Wherever the Shekhinah dwells, Tiferet  remains.

Life is hard; I wish it weren’t. Even if with that, may we be blessed to stand with  Malkhut sheh b’Tiferet wherever we trael..

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Washington 1:1:10

Finding peace within the storms of life makes it possible to ride the waves with a little more ease.  ~Chava

With each breath, I wonder. Where will life’s journey take me and those I love?  I don’t take even a moment for granted.  I love deeply; I feel deeply; I live deeply.  The intensity is part of my soul and with that intensity I choose to live.

Tomorrow is not a given; it is a hope.

Tragedy can touch us at a moment’s notice; sometimes it does.  And tragedy is not only simply about loss of life; sometimes it can be about loss of what was.  We have all suffered loss of some sort or another.  A friendship is severed; a beloved becomes suddenly ill; a moment changes everything.  And while loss can penetrate our being, it doesn’t have to define our every step.  Or if it does, may it be for good.

I am no stranger to tragedy.  I have experienced pain, violence, sudden loss, and seriously ill children.  Years of my life have been altered by events that should never have been experienced.  And yet today I smile freely and I appreciate the gifts that life offers.  Life jazzes my soul; every turn leads to an open door full of possibilities.

With the knowledge that things can change in a moment, I actively engage in life.  I don’t allow frustration or anger to dominate my inner peace for any length of time.  I strive to surround myself with people that put a smile on my face, warm my heart, and inspire both myself and others to grow.  And when tough moments come, as they undoubtedly do, I meet each moment head on and let it go as soon as possible.  Life is too sacred to wrap myself in darkness.

Living life fully is not optional for me.  With the knowledge that life can’t be taken for granted, I try to honor my soul and the soul of those around me.  One of the people I admire most in my life, I admire from a distance.  This person actively engages in life; he does that which excites him and he pushes himself to the limit.  While I do the same in different ways, I do not choose to do it physically.  Unfortunately, I really can’t any longer; I used to.  The good news is that I navigate other amazing roads and new journeys at every turn.

The words below resonate for me.  While life is not a given and tomorrow might not come, I can still keep moving forward in whatever way works for me.

“If you can’t fly then run,

if you can’t run then walk,

if you can’t walk then crawl,

but whatever you do,

you have to keep moving forward.”

~Martin Luther King Jr. 

 

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