Surviving Thoughts on a Heartbroken Saturday Night

It was just two weeks ago that we gathered at Barrington Congregational Church, Jews and Christians, and maybe others, to make signs of love, in the face of hateful vandalism in our town. And today, in San Diego, on the left coast of our nation, separated from us by destiny manifested as Church and State, the rights of a terrorist to bear arms and fire shots at civilians took the life of a sister I have not seen since Mount Sinai.

My greater family, my Jewish brothers and sisters, and I have been attacked forever. This week is no different. Following Pesach, when we were freed from slavery in Egypt, and approaching Yom Hashoah, the day when we remember the near-genocide of our religion and our race in eastern Europe.

Only in a show is the mark of a survivor a positive. The victors, the winners, the always-have-beens, the rulers, the beings. The status quo. If you are, you do not need to survive, or overcome, or succeed. You can just be. When can we. just. be.

Targets on our backs. Hate staring us in the face. Not even in the land of religious freedom are we safe. Not even here. Not even now.

And yet.

We are survivors.

Tomorrow the sun will rise in the east, over Jerusalem, and over Pittsburgh, and over San Diego. And even over Majdanek. And the rays from that golden sun will shine on the faces of the Jewish People.

We must never forget where we come from, nor why we’re here. But we must look to where we are going and we must keep our course. The promised land is not fulfilled until we are safe, and we are secure, and we no longer must strive to merely survive.