Last year I wrote the following for Shabbat Chayyei Sarah, which among other matters, focuses on the life and death of Sarah and the power of resilience. Resilience helps us make loss matter.
When a child dies or an innocent person dies or someone dies suddenly and unjustly - and this
will come as no surprise - we don’t allow ourselves to be nearly as philosophical (as when
some passes away after a long life or illness). The pain of such loss is acute, it tears at us, it
breaks us, it enrages us; it bewilders us. And so when we cry, if we can summon the tears in
the first place, we do so for a much longer time, that is, if we can ever stop in the first place.
But while with such loss we may remain inconsolable indefinitely, if not seemingly forever, the
tears we cry remain important, even healing. That is because our tears can give us enough
relief to recover our resilience. It’s through our resilience that we can be knocked down by the
trials of life and get back up stronger than ever. And it’s through our resilience that we find the
moral and emotional grit to make the losses we suffer matter. We find the resolve to make the
difference the dead can no longer make with their own lives, and we help make their losses
matter by making their legacies last, by making their memories a blessing.
Next Sunday morning, November 24, right after tefillot, we will hold our first LifeLight conversation at 10:00 am in the Michigan Room. Our focus will be on resilience and the human power to cope, bounce back, and make our lives matter amidst the losses we encounter in life. I hope you join us.
Make it a day of blessing and be a force for good.
Rabbi Craig Marantz