I live in South Florida, a few miles north of Parkland. We recently marked the shloshimLit. Thirty The first thirty days after someone dies. This is an intermediate stage of mourning -- less intense than then initial week of shiva, but more intense than the remainder of the first year. It is customary not to shave or cut one's hair and not to attend social gatherings, parties, concerts etc during this time. for the 17 individuals murdered in the Stoneman Douglas shooting. While the pain and grief continue, the gevurah sh’b’netzach of these students—their discipline of endurance—grows stronger.
In spite of vicious personal attacks and threats to their personal safety, they persist in speaking truth to power, keeping gun control in front of the nation, and motivating millions to stand up against the gun lobby. These young activists are catalyzing change by urging voters to make their voices heard.
The students’ perseverance reminds me of MosesThe quintessential Jewish leader who spoke face to face with God, unlike any other prophet, and who freed the people from Egypt, led them through the desert for forty years, and received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. His Hebrew name is Moshe. who argued with G-d and was able to effect change. Like Moses, the students of Parkland show us the true meaning of the discipline of endurance. May we follow their inspiration to ground ourselves in the difficult, long-term work of making this country a better, and safer, place. May today’s OmerFrom the second day of Passover until Shavuot, Jews count seven weeks – seven times seven days – to commemorate the period between the Exodus from Egypt and the Revelation at Sinai. When the Temple stood, a certain measure (omer) of barley was offered on the altar each day; today, we merely count out the days. theme give us the chance to reflect on the ways we can increase our commitment to this holy work. Kol HaKavod!
Image by D’vorah Horn from her set of Omer Practice Cards (2016).