Sunday, September 11, 2011

2011.09.11 9/11

Do what you are able and for God’s sake be kind to yourself and all creation. But above all pray, for that is how you will be in touch with your internal arbiter, the soul voice that, at its most naked, conjoins with the transcendent to bring forth goodness and peace.

There is no accounting for tragedy—no need to quantify it, no need to compare it as if every tragedy weren't exactly the same to the human hearts involved, and no need to get even for we can't. There is just a need to name our heart's truth and grieve together.

To share on this day of remembrance I quote from Leo Tolstoi who in 1854 was at the front in the Crimean war. On leave he witnessed a public beheading in Paris that changed his spiritual life forever and brought forth his lasting work War and Peace.

Tolstoi wrote: "During my stay in Paris, the sight of an execution revealed to me the instability of my superstitious belief in progress. When I saw the head part from the body and how they thumped separately into the box, I understood, not with my mind but with my whole being, that no theory of the reasonableness of our present progress could justify this deed; and that though everybody from the creation of the world had held it to be necessary, on whatever theory, I knew it to be unnecessary and bad; and therefore the arbiter of what is good and evil is not what people say and do, nor is it progress, but it is my heart and I."

Judith Shulevitz writing about the sabbath remembrance in her book Sabbath World ends her fine book with wise and simple words: “We have to remember to stop because we have to stop to remember.”

To pray is to stop, remember, and allow Other to transform your heart’s soul. A sabbath community reminds us to stop, pray and remember to strengthen our collective hearts.