We tend to see what we’re looking for. But sometimes what’s before us is impossible to unsee.
As Julian Edelman and his father Frank understand, we cannot unsee the premeditated, malignant horrors that were inflicted on our people on October 7th, four Sabbaths ago.
As we now approach the 30th day (sheloshim), when mourners traditionally bring particular attention to those they’ve lost, it’s vital to tune our hearts and direct our spirits.
This week’s portion of Torah gets its name from the Hebrew word meaning to see.
Yes, seeing suffering in Gaza is heartbreaking. As moral beings, we are pained by harm experienced by anyone who is blameless. And we wish this weren’t such an exclusive position in today’s world.
There is another Hebrew word that recurs more than a dozen times in this week’s portion: also (gaam). Again and again Abraham is told also. Also Hagar’s son Ishmael will be blessed. Also, Avimelech’s people. Also, any who are righteous from Sodom.
Inspired by what’s taught to Abraham, let’s do our best to say and mean also (gaam). Also, with this determination from a Muslim Israeli. Also, with this dream from a Gazan Palestinian. Also, with this anguish and fright for 240+ held in harmful captivity.
When you’re in pain, it isn’t humanly possible to say the word also as much as you want to.
May the day come when the dream to be able to say also will rise for multiples of Abraham’s descendants from out of this nightmare.
Am Yisrael Chai (The People of Israel lives).