G‑d was murdered today. Forty-nine times over.

No, this isn't my hyperbolic way of venting my sadness and rage. It's what the sages of the Talmud said more than 2,000 years ago.

They pointed out that the Ten Commandments were inscribed by G‑d on two stone tablets, forming a correlation between one set of five commandments inscribed on the first tablet and the second set inscribed on the second tablet. Thus the first commandment, "I am the L-rd your G‑d" corresponds to the sixth commandment, "You shall not murder."

How so? Our sages offered the following parable: "A king entered a country and put up portraits of himself, and made statues of himself, and minted coins with his image. After a while, the people of the country desecrated his portraits, smashed his statues and defaced his coins, thereby reducing the image of the king. So, too, one who sheds blood reduces the image of the King, as it is written (Genesis 9:6): 'One who spills a man's blood... for in the image of G‑d He made man.'"

Murdering a human being is banishing G‑d from our worldThere are those who would say that the problem with our murderous world today is that there's not enough religion. Others would posit that the problem is that there's too much religion. But this is not about religion—it's about G‑d.

G‑d attests that He created man in his image. The deeper meaning of this statement is the subject of much commentary and discussion. But on the most basic level it simply means that a human life is holy and divine because a human life is G‑d's way of making himself present in our world. Murdering a human being is banishing G‑d from our world.

If you believe in G‑d the way G‑d believes in Himself (is there any other way?) you don't wantonly destroy a human life. If you wantonly destroy a human life you don't believe in G‑d. It's that simple.

G‑d was banished from our world yesterday. And then banished again and again, Forty-nine times in succession. It's now our job to bring Him back.

With every good deed, with every kind word, with every positive thought, we bring a bit of G‑dliness into our G‑d-depleted world. And if we do it for the sake of those whose lives were snuffed out yesterday, we resurrect something of the divine spark that was their life, in a small but deeply significant way.

It's the least we can do for them.

Along with the rest of humanity, we are reeling from the tragic murder of at least 49 innocent worshipers in Mosques in New Zealand. As we grapple with the enormity of the crime, we adapted these words, penned by Yanki Tauber in the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting. It is our prayer that G‑d grant solace to the survivors, and usher in the era when G‑d will have “concealed death forever, and the L-rd G‑d shall wipe the tears off every face…” (Isaiah 25:8)