If you are reading this, obviously, the world did not come to an end today. The fears about the Mayan calendar were unfounded. Thank goodness!
This being said, many of us are still feeling incredibly uneasy about the nightmare that took place in Connecticut last Friday. The effects of this nightmare in our own lives are tremendous. For those of us with children in school, our anxiety has been off the charts this week as we questioned our own children’s safety. For many of our children, this week has been filled with both end of the year tests and activities and new security protocols that have added to the fear and uncertainty that so many of them are struggling with. And, to top it all off, the rumors of copycat shootings have kept many of our kids home today.
I have quoted the famous words of Rabbi Nahman of Bratzlav many times this week:
The world is a very narrow bridge
The essential thing is to have no fear at all
As we struggle to come to terms with the violence in our schools and elsewhere, we find ourselves standing before a tremendous ravine. We have no choice but to get to the other side – but the only way to cross the ravine is an old, dilapidated, narrow bridge. How do we cross the bridge and have no (or at least lessen) our fear? We cross together – holding hands, single file until each of us crosses.
During trying times like these, it is such a blessing to be part of a community. Now is the time to turn to your community. So many of us are struggling with the same fears. And this is why we are coming together tonight for a special Kabbalat Shabbat Healing Service. Through music, prayer, readings and discussion (led by our own Dr. Allan Ribbler – a well-respected child psychologist), we will encourage ourselves to find the hope needed to cross the ravine before us – together.
I know that many of you are on your way out of town for vacation. I wish you safe travels. If you are around tonight, I do hope you will join us at 7:30.