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Let There Be Light

From the narrow place of despair I cried to You…

It was inevitable. We discuss the events of the day around the dinner table. There was no way to avoid telling our son, who turns thirteen this week and assumes the obligations of Jewish adulthood. One of those obligations, surely, is sharing in the repair of this broken world.

There was no way to avoid telling him that three more souls were taken by force. There was no way to avoid telling him about the senseless violence, the suffering, the sorrow in this broken world.

I turned to my spouse, who so evenly explained what had happened, carefully articulating what details we knew to be accurately reported. Grateful that he stepped into the breach, I told him of my despair.

What does making friends in different faith communities accomplish? What good is it to bake bread and brew coffee, and make prayer beads and praise the Maker of Peace in the Universe? What words and deeds of compassion can counteract such hostility?

He was quick to remind me that every single act of kindness, every single moment of connection, matters. He offered me a lifeline, pulling my faltering faith toward a wide-open space, where it has room to grow.

Suzanne Barakat shines a light on the essence of her brother: “He was happy in everything that he did. He made it light.” She reminds me that, even in the narrowest place of despair, there is still room for the light.

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