As we read in the Torah about the different sacrificial offerings that were brought to the ancient Temple, I think about the Malaysian airplane that apparently was crashed into the ocean. As humanity, we want to believe that all decent, feeling and aware people have been deeply touched by this atrocity, and that perhaps we feel a need to “atone” for much of the evil and cruelty that exists in so much of our world.
Yes, “there is good enough to exult the soul; but evil enough to break the heart.” During these weeks of uncertainty, everyone with whom I spoke has felt a deep pain in their hearts. We tried to imagine the anguish of the passengers as they confronted the uncertainty of their airplane overtaken by evil forces. Our hearts and minds grieved as we saw pictures of anguished family members, clinging to the hope that their loved ones were still alive in some remote part of our world.
Yes, this was an isolated incident. But clearly we live in a world that knows so much hatred, violence and cruelty. And so I think of those “offerings” that were brought in ancient Israel. They were intended as a means of seeking peace and renewal and hope. And don’t we seek the same for our world? May it be that humanity will awaken to the truth that either there will be one world or no world, and that now, perhaps more than ever, we humans need to learn to live together and give each other the gift of peace.
Rabbi David Greenberg