Rising From the Ashes

Silence is the only noise that makes sense. When parents lose seven children in one day how does one respond? Seven children! Seven Children! I hope you and I will never know such tragedy. My heart goes out to the parents, to the community and to the entire Jewish people.

Today I saw a picture of the Sassoons. I was shocked to say the least. This was a family that 10 years ago had brought me and others into their home and had given us an amazing Shabbat experience. Throughout the day I’ve heard stories of their kindness and charity. These were truly special souls.

As an Orthodox Jew and as an individual who has the responsibility to be an ambassador for Torah I feel obligated to remark on reactions I’ve seen in the past 24 hours. We can never understand such a terrible tragedy. We can never know why The Almighty does what He does. But we can know, and we should ask, what does the Almighty want from me. What are you supposed to take from such a tragedy?

Most are shocked and saddened. Some twisted individuals are critical and have criticized the family. To those who have criticized these poor parents who have lost their everything, the message is clear: YOU ARE A SELFISH, SELF- CENTERED MORON. Let that sink in; because for a parent to lose one child is too much to deal with, but seven….

After the recent elections, it’s obvious and apparent that the nation of Israel is disconnected and dis-unified. It’s been a slap in the face to me personally. Wake up! Be human, empathize and relate as much as possible to the Sassoons. I hope that all who heard this unfathomable news have tried to do the same; if not, you should. We all make mistakes, we all do the best we can and things don’t always go the way that we want. We all have pain and loss. Look around the world. All we the Jewish people have is each other. It has been the same story since we left Egypt over 3000 years ago. Empires have risen and collapsed. Scientific, mathematical and philosophical beliefs have tossed, turned and evolved. We have been persecuted and we have triumphed, with no one to turn to or to lean on except each other and The Almighty. On one side of us I see murderous regimes like Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, Iran- really the list goes on. On the other side, I see the world’s military superpower, a supposed beacon of freedom and justice, signing pacts and appeasing those that plan to turn our historical and G-d- given homeland into rubble.

From a Torah perspective, when a tragedy befalls an individual it is a wake-up call to up your game. Nu! Become a better person. What is life about? What are we living for? What are we taking for granted? What can I be doing better? When a tragedy befalls the entire Jewish people, it should be a wake-up call to both the individual and the collective Jewish people.

About the Author
Ori Murray, grew up in Seattle, WA. He studied for close to a decade in Israel in top rabbinical colleges. Rabbi Murray taught in alternative high school yeshivot and was the university rabbi at the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan. Ori was one of the founding members and front man for the intercontinental hip hop band SHTAR. Accolades and appearances range from play on Israel's famous GalGalatz Radio to lecturing in high schools and post high school institutions. He currently works as COO of Video Activism a program that teaches Israel Advocacy via movie production and social media.
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