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The Tragedy in Toulouse

The Tragedy in Toulouse

Finding Our Voice

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How do you break the news to someone that she just lost her husband and their two young sons? How do you deal with such news?

Was she sipping her morning coffee when her phone rang or a neighbor knocked on the door? Was she cleaning the house for Passover, or already out for the day? Where was Mrs. Sandler when they told her that her 30-year-old husband and three- and six-year-olds were gunned down?

There are no words to express the pain and sorrow that pour forth from the families of the four precious lives stolen today

Losing a loved one is always tragic. Losing your children and husband to a coldblooded murderer, who shot them point-blank as they stood outside a Jewish school, is unbearable.

There are no words. There are no words to express the pain and sorrow that pour forth from the families of the four precious lives stolen today. Right now, there are other victims fighting for their lives and in desperate need of recovery. And for those who weren’t physically hurt, the trauma the school children have suffered is unimaginable, and the entire Jewish community is reeling in shock.

And shock breeds silence. This is actually one of the reasons that in the Jewish tradition the first meal for a mourner consists of a hard-boiled egg, for a mourner has no mouth. This is also one of the reasons that when coming to comfort the mourner, it is only when the mourner chooses to speak and begins the conversation that it is proper to talk. If mourners prefer silence, silent it remains.

And yet, may we actually say nothing? Might we allow innocent people to be murdered and not make our voices heard?

Our brothers and sisters in France cannot speak. Their voice has been taken from them. For now.

While they mourn, we must speak for them

While they mourn, we must speak for them. We must let the world know that we are not going anywhere, and our voices will only get louder the more others try to quiet us. This terrorist and those supporting him succeeded in causing great pain. They caused a huge loss to families and friends, a community and the entire Jewish world. But they have not and will not destroy us.

Throughout our history they have been trying to destroy us. We are two weeks away from the holiday of Pesach (Passover), when we recount the horrific conditions of an enslavement that captured the mind, body and soul. We were tortured and killed. And yet we survived. We spend the Passover Seder not only recalling the suffering, but also proclaiming the redemption that followed.

As slaves, we had no voice. We were silenced. But it is interesting to note how an interpretation of the word for Passover itself, Pesach, is that of “a speaking voice,” for peh means “mouth” and sach means “speaking.” On Passover we reclaim our voices.

Today we mourn. Today we cry. But we also must speak. We must speak for those who can’t. We must speak for those who won’t. And we must speak to ensure that we will never be silenced.


Sara Esther Crispe, a writer, inspirational speaker and mother of four, is the Co-Director of Interinclusion, a nonprofit multi-layered educational initiative celebrating the convergence between contemporary arts and sciences and timeless Jewish wisdom. Prior to that she was the editor of TheJewishWoman.org and wrote the popular weekly blog Musing for Meaning. To book Sara Esther for a speaking engagement, please click here.
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Discussion (45)
April 7, 2012
Beautiful Article
Thank you for writing this article Sarah. Very moving and uplifting in light of such a horrific tragedy. We send all our love to the family.
Andrew
Brisbane
March 27, 2012
G-d bless you, Yousef from Saudi Arabia.
You have much courage to express such deep love from your heart for Jewish people. Thank you.
Karen Joyce Chaya Fradle Kleinman Bell
Riverside, CA, USA
March 27, 2012
tragedy in TOULOUSE.
My tears,my smpathy to the family of the victims and to all Jewish all over the world.
through the history of man kind G-D will be with you,and you will prevail over the nations in particular,those who hate you and want to destroy you.
yousef
sakaka, Saudi Arabia
March 26, 2012
Sarah's key
As much as I love the French language and Paris, I can't forget how the French Police rounded up their Jewish citizens in 1942 under the most barbaric conditions and delivered them to the Germans. Why people have to be so hateful and never learn from the lessons of history? We built monuments to..help us remember wrong doings, which we quickly forget and allow new awful things to happen to our people. Jews now have a shield with the state of Israel & will defend themselves, but we will never raise a fist or a hand to someone who doesn't believe in G-d the way we do. Please, let's have PEACE on earth while there is still time.
Anonymous
Redondo Beach, CA
chabadsb.org
March 26, 2012
Tragedy
I am writing from Cape Town to express y deepest condolences to all who have lost their beloved ones in this terrible tragedy.
Posted by Shirley Levitt South Africa
Shirley Levitt
Cape Town, South Africa
March 25, 2012
My Prayers of Support
As a Christian, I am appalled and saddened by the horrible tragedy visited upon this wonderful family by an uspeakably evil terrorist. (May his name be blotted out.) I will attend a synagogue next Shabbat to stand for the victims during Kaddish and will keep this family in my prayers. I stand in support of my older brothers, the Jewish people, both now and in the future.

Shalom
Harry Case
Citrus Heights, CA
March 25, 2012
The Life Of The Jewish People
Israel remains the shield of the Jewish people.

Jews have a collective voice today to speak out in the face of persecution and unspeakable evil.

G-d already executed justice on the murderer may his name be blotted out! But the work of bringing light to the world remains and it will continue!

The life of the Jewish people in their land will be never be extinguished and as we saw in the past week, the re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty in Israel was the will of G-d!

Its time to stop all talk of what divides Jews and remember the enemy hates all Jews no matter where they are. We have a duty to support our brethren abroad and in Israel.

And through our efforts, may it hasten the coming of Moshiach and the restoration of the Temple!

Norman F Birnberg
Norman F Birnberg
Salida, CO/USA
March 24, 2012
The tragedy in Toulouse
Why has there been so little out cry from our leaders?
We should be rallying, shouting, in the media, not quietly like sheep. Let them hear that they can't do this to us.
Chana
bronx, ny/usa
March 24, 2012
Toulouse
yes, the Jewish People in this present world of persecution must continue to prod the consciences of us all. G-d bless.
John W. Cassell
Rio Rancho, NM
March 24, 2012
Toulouse Tragedy.
May Hashem bless and support the widow and the family.
What a sadness; a family destroyed as consequence of hate, still teached by some ignorants without arguments.
Yossi Mondelli
Pantin, France
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What's the latest news? For that information, check your local or national news outlet. In this blog we will discuss the "why?"

Not "why did this event occur?" but "why did I find out about it?" There must be a reason. It must contain a lesson I can use to better myself and my surroundings. Together we will find the lessons...
Sara Esther CrispeSara Esther Crispe, a writer, inspirational speaker and mother of four, is the Co-Director of Interinclusion, a non-profit multi-layered educational initiative celebrating the convergence between contemporary arts and sciences and timeless Jewish wisdom. Prior to that she was the editor of TheJewishWoman.org and wrote the popular weekly blog, Musing for Meaning. To book Sara Esther for a speaking engagement, please click here.
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