Without any time to recover, another part of our heart breaks again. The collective soul of humanity, while resilient and regenerative, has taken yet another hit.
Ten days ago Buffalo. Yesterday, Texas. Ten days ago, the African American community. Yesterday, an elementary school. Unthinkable.
Yesterday I excitedly prepared for and attended our end of year Shul School Celebration and BBQ at Five Mile. All day, I was absorbed in organizing activities, setting things up, greeting children and families, playing, laughing, feasting, receiving, hugging. The energy was beautiful. It was incredible to share this celebration together, in person (it has been on hold the last two years). There was so much feel good energy.
Shortly after arriving home, I became aware of the mass shooting in Texas. I thought about our beautiful Shul School community and how fortunate I had been to share so much quality time with our students, just moments before. And my heart ached to its core for the families in Texas whose lives will never be the same.
How do we hold all of this? Our gratitude for the joy and beauty in our lives and the intense angst and sadness that swirls around an event like what happened yesterday in Texas?
I find solace in the word Shalom. The usual translation for Shalom is peace. While this is true, the root of the word (shin, lamed, mem) also carries the meaning of wholeness, completeness. When we send prayers for healing we say “Refuah Shleimah” meaning a complete and thorough healing.
Part of being human requires that we hold the “everythingness” of our lives and the world around us. I am deeply grateful that I can hug my daughters, and that I sat in a circle at Five Mile with our Shul School students and their families. We sang Modeh Ani (I Give Thanks) together and we shared why we are thankful for Shul School. So much of the gratitude was about having a community to learn and grow with.I hold this memory and this positive energy alongside the pain and evil I also had to encounter.
I leave you with an image of peace, wholeness, and healing. During the last few weeks of Shul School our students created a Shalom wall. Everyone decorated each of the letters in the word with a different medium (paint, floral photo collage, glitter, and Shalom marker montage).
May the One who makes Peace on high,
make Peace for us below,
Speedily and in our days.