Tag Archives: Talmud

Thoughts On the New Zealand Mosque Shooting

I’m not particularly religious, but I believe that our religious texts can speak to us. One of the most important quotes, from my perspective is the following from the Talmud:

“Whoever destroys a single life is considered by Scripture to have destroyed the whole world, and whoever saves a single life is considered by Scripture to have saved the whole world.”

Yesterday, 49 worlds were destroyed when 49 innocent people were killed in two Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Another 20 more were injured. The only reason these people were targeted and killed was because of their faith.

I am sick with disgust and sad at the same time. We are all human beings, regardless of who were are, what we believe or where we come from. This animal who shall not be named in this post, decided that because the worshipers are of the Muslim faith, that they were beneath him and had to die. No one deserves that fate.

The one good thing (if there is truly such a concept in this horrible news story) is that the country’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, vowed to change her country’s gun laws. American lawmakers should be taking notes from Ms. Arden as how to deal with gun violence.

My prayer is two-fold. First, may those who were injured heal quickly. Second, may the memory of those killed be a blessing.

Z”L.

P.S. You know who’s reaction to the shooting was not unexpected. We need to get this man out of office, now.

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Filed under International News, Politics, Thoughts On...., World News

Number The Stars Book Review

As adults, we sometimes forget that our children see the world in a different light than we do.

In Lois Lowry’s classic YA novel, Number The Stars, the reader is experiencing World War II through the eyes of a child.

In 1943, Ten year old Annemarie Johansen has watched her world turn upside down. The Nazis have invaded Denmark and are in the process of “relocating” the Jews. Annemarie’s parents are secretly hiding her best friend, Ellen Rosen, who is Jewish.  In a very short amount of time, the Christian citizens of Denmark helped their Jewish neighbors and friends to safety and out of the reach of the ghettos and the gas chambers.

I remember reading this book many years ago and found myself profoundly moved by the story. While many Christian Europeans were easily drafted to the Nazi cause, the Danish Christians put their lives and the lives of their families on the line to save their Jewish friends and neighbors. Denmark is only country whose Jewish population survived the war mostly intact.

There is a very famous quote from the Talmud:

Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if they destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if they saved an entire world.

Thousands of lives and worlds were saved because a brave nation chose to resist the conquering army. While this novel is fiction, it is based on a true story.

I highly recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History

Two Years And An Untold Number Of Tears

This past weekend marked the 2 year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre. Two years ago this nation mourned the loss of twenty children who would never have the opportunity to grow up.

There was tragedy in Pakistan today. The Pakistani arm of the Taliban forced themselves in a school, armed and ready to kill. As of tonight, 141 were killed, 90% of the victims were children.

There is a famous saying from the Talmud:

Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if they destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if they saved an entire world.

I would like to add to that. Whoever destroys the soul of a child, it is as if they have destroyed ten worlds. Whoever saves the life of a child, it is as if they have saved one hundred worlds.

While I have no children of my own, my heart and my prayers go out to the families of those murdered.

I would say RIP normally, but RIP is not enough.

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