March 23, 2012 ~ 29 Adar 5772
Dahlia and I have just arrived home from a few days vacation at the Grand Canyon in celebration of our upcoming 10th Wedding Anniversary. It was a beautiful trip, and we even managed to catch a freakish blizzard that blanketed the Red Rocks of Sedona and the upper layers of the Canyon with beautiful white snow. We have returned now from being at an elevation of 7,000 feet, to our humble home at 3 feet below sea level in Metairie.
While our trip was incredibly relaxing and refreshing, our spirits were dashed when we heard about the news of the brutal terrorist attack in Toulouse, France. In addition to the cold blooded shooting of 3 paratroopers, the terrorist also opened fire outside the Ozar HaTorah School, killing Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, a 30-year-old teacher from Jerusalem; his two children Aryeh, 6, and Gavriel, 3; and 8-year-old Miriam Monstango, the daughter of the school’s principle. Several others were also wounded gravely.
Our vacation in the Grand Canyon and the news of the murders could not represent more polar opposite realities. Standing on the rim of the Canyon, we witnessed the vast openness of our world, the grandeur of our universe, the expanse of our Divine space. While in France, a murderer demonstrated the close-mindedness of his world, the smallness of his universe, and his pathetically narrow understanding of the Divine.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the grieving families this Shabbat, and we pray for a world in which all of its citizens can be humbled by the awesomeness of the created world and the incredible diversity of life and land that fills it with blessing. Shabbat Shalom.
See you in shul,