Where Every Jew is Family


As tweets of #thoughtsandprayers has been going around after last weeks massacre, I’ve been thinking about the question posed by many in the media and on social media, is that enough?  

As a religious person, I find it very comforting that people are praying for those who lost love ones or are going through hard times.

With that said, is it enough?  In most cases, there has to be some physical action taken in order to affect that for which you are praying.  You can pray for good crops, but you’ve got to work and plant the field. 

In this week’s Torah portion, Isaac and Rebecca pray for children.  But we all know that they couldn’t stay in separate corners praying.  They’re going to have to meet up at some point.

But the Torah doesn’t tell us that they had children because of their actions.  It says very clearly, “and the L-rd accepted his prayer, and Rebecca his wife conceived.”

While there are many things we have to do on our part, we have to remember that it is G-d who bestows the blessings. Everything comes to us because of G-d’s influence.  We play our part, but G-d is the one doing all of the “heavy lifting”!  To quote our last president, “You didn’t build that!”

With that said, we are certainly keeping those affected by the Texas shooting in our thoughts and prayers in the hopes that G-d comforts them in their time of need.

Many people are at a loss for what to say at a funeral or hearing horrible news in general. And the truth is, what can you say?  I heard once that it’s for this reason Judaism offers a prescribed response. When hearing bad news, we say “Baruch dayan ha’emet, blessed is the true Judge.  To a mourner we say, “May G-d comfort you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.” No one expects you to be a poet.  Saying something scripted, but truthfully, is all you can do sometimes.

So, keep thinking and praying.  And also, help if you can.

Shavua Tov!
~Rabbi Yossi

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