This morning at my children’s school, a teacher stood at the back door welcoming students and another watched as cars pulled around the drop-off circle. Their school has excellent safety protocols on any given day but today everyone was extra cautious.

Friends asked if I was nervous bringing my kids to school. I wasn't. I was sad.

I absolutely refuse to live in fearI was sad as I made lunches, thinking about the 20 lunches that never were eaten on Friday. I was sad as I shouted "Have a great day!" thinking how I have never wondered before if they wouldn't be standing there at the end of it.

I was sad but I wasn't scared. Not because I don't think it could happen in my children's school. I know it could. I wasn't scared because I don't see the point. And I absolutely refuse to live in fear.

There are endless articles and arguments looking for something or someone to blame. If only the teachers were armed. If only guns were outlawed. If only there was better security. If only there was better mental health awareness. If only the media didn't glamorize the killers.

If only...

My youngest daughter asked me last night why G‑d let this happen. I told her the only thing I could think to say. I don't know.

And I don't.

My children never had the luxury of being naïve about death and destruction. Having lived in Israel for nine years, my children were unfortunately accustomed to seeing the faces of beautiful babies on the covers of newspapers and automatically asking if they had been killed. When they got together with a family we were very close to who had barely survived a deadly bus bombing, they would play “pigua” (terrorist attack) as a way of dealing with what they had experienced.

This world is a dream. Sometimes a nightmareWe are stuck in exile. And it hurts. But this is not the ultimate reality. And the sages teach us that when redemption comes, when Moshiach is here, that he will have a lot of explaining to do. That is when we will get our answers. We recite in Psalm 126: “hayinu k’cholmim” meaning that when Moshiach comes we will realize we were “like dreamers.” This world is a dream. Sometimes a nightmare. Things don’t always make sense. But who says they are supposed to?

Moshiach will come with or without us. But we can hasten his arrival. It is up to us to do whatever we can to end this exile. We do this through our good deeds, our lovingkindness, our positive actions. They count, each and every one of them. We just saw what two minutes of utter terror could do. We cannot underestimate what two minutes of goodness will do. We may not see the effects as immediately or as clearly, but the impact is most definitely there.

Just about anywhere we look we can find tragedy, pain and suffering. But if we look a bit harder, we can find beauty, love and support. It is a question of what we care to see. What we care to focus on.

We just began the Hebrew month of Tevet. As Tevet begins, the light in the day starts to slowly become a little more each day. Sunset each week is just a few minutes later. And according to Jewish mysticism, each Hebrew month is represented by a letter. The letter for the month of Tevet is the ayin which means “eye.” The name of the month, Tevet, shares the same root as the word for “good” which is tov.

Fear is debilitating. Love is transformativeIf all we see when we look at the world is the negative, it will paralyze us. It will make it impossible to move forward, to grow, to develop. Fear is debilitating. Love is transformative. It is up to us to find that good. To see that good.

No one can explain why the world lost 26 precious souls at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Not yet. Not in exile. But we can open our eyes and force ourselves to see not only the terror but the beauty that emerged from the tragedy. Look at the incredible support the world over. Look at the care and love. Look at the unbelievable self-sacrifice the Sandy Hook teachers and staff displayed. As a sign in Newtown said, “Our hearts are broken but our spirits are strong.”

While we will never forget what happened, we will get through this. We will combat the darkness by creating more light. And through every act of goodness we will bring the world one step closer to the redemption that we so desperately need.