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Coping with the Meron Tragedy: An Open Discussion and Q&A with Rabbi Simon Jacobson

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by Rabbi Simon Jacobson

“One-third of our people were taken from us [during the Holocaust], but despite all the predictions… the Jewish people did not die… Not only did we remember those 6 million, but we’ve built institutions in their names… I don’t know why it happened, but I know what it resulted in.

 

…What do we do? For every person who was taken [in Meron], not only do we remember them and never forget who they are, we now have to fill their shoes… we now have to double and triple our good deeds to fill the void.

 

We all wish it wouldn’t have happened but… let this be a wake-up call to create a tremendous, unprecedented [increase in] ahavat Yisrael [love of one’s fellow Jews], achdut Yisrael [unity/harmony with one’s fellow Jews]Initiate! Don’t wait! If something is hurting you, the hurt should be a catalyst to do something positive!

 

…this is the best lesson to our children….[who] are watching us… How do we respond to tragedy? Yes, we cry…but we have also taken this and become far better people. There is no better lesson that you can leave…when a Jew is in crisis when a tragedy strikes… the growth and the beauty and good deeds that come out of it will last forever. The pain will subside…but the growth will be forever and we will prevail.”