The Tragedy in Newtown: When are we going to start having an adult discussion? Hatred isn’t going to get us anywhere.


Official seal of Newtown, Connecticut

Official seal of Newtown, Connecticut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I went to a temple service. I am a regular participant, but today I was going to find some answers to the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.  I like the Rabbi, and I like the services.  Today, it was a small gathering.

During Jewish services a part of the morning is devoted  to discussing the Torah . While discussing the Torah, the conversation got around to those killings in Connecticut. This event was on everyone’s minds.

All of these recent shootings weigh heavily on me, as they do on everyone else.  Something has to be done. There has to be a defense against these sick sad people.  What can be done?  I don’t have the answer to this question. But I’m certain making the schools armed camps isn’t the answer. I spent a considerable amount of time working in the schools, elementary, middle and high-school. I had a chance to see what really goes on there. It is a complex place, and talented educators should be admired. It’s an important job.

People have to get real
This is going to get worse before it gets better.  It’s lovely to think we don’t need to protect the children. It’s great to think we can go shopping, to the movies, and to hear political leaders speak without some nut coming out and wiping most of the people away. Unfortunately, while we’re all getting angry at each other, another sad insane person is probably plotting the next catastrophe.

I hope we all find a way to come together and act like responsible adults.

Why?
I guess we’ll never really know the answer to that question.  Some people make simplistic guesses, but that’s not satisfying to me. I was impressed with what the Rabbi read to us just before the service ended.  He read the eulogies  Noah Pozner’s  mother and uncle made at his funeral. These were published shortly after his funeral.

By The Associated Press 12/17/12 09:57 PM ET EST
From mother, Veronique Pozner:
The sky is crying, and the flags are at half-mast. It is a sad, sad day. But it is also your day, Noah, my little man. I will miss your forceful and purposeful little steps stomping through our house. I will miss your perpetual smile, the twinkle in your dark blue eyes, framed by eyelashes that would be the envy of any lady in this room.
Most of all, I will miss your visions of your future. You wanted to be a doctor, a soldier, a taco factory manager. It was your favorite food, and no doubt you wanted to ensure that the world kept producing tacos.
You were a little boy whose life force had all the gravitational pull of a celestial body. You were light and love, mischief and pranks. You adored your family with every fiber of your 6-year-old being. We are all of us elevated in our humanity by having known you. A little maverick, who didn’t always want to do his schoolwork or clean up his toys, when practicing his ninja moves or Super Mario on the Wii seemed far more important.
Noah, you will not pass through this way again. I can only believe that you were planted on Earth to bloom in heaven. Take flight, my boy. Soar. You now have the wings you always wanted. Go to that peaceful valley that we will all one day come to know. I will join you someday. Not today. I still have lots of mommy love to give to Danielle, Michael, Sophia and Arielle.
Until then, your melody will linger in our hearts forever. Momma loves you, little man.

from his uncle (this is only part of it….)

t is unspeakably tragic that none of us can bring Noah back. We would go to the ends of the Earth to do so, but none of us can.

What we can do is carry Noah within us, always. We can remember the joy he brought to us. We can hold his memory close to our hearts. We can treasure him forever. And all of us, including the family, the community, the country and the world, can honor Noah by loving each other and taking care of each other. That’s what Noah would have wanted.

Noah, we love you so much, we miss you dearly, and we will never, ever forget you.

I got some of what I was looking for when I walked in the temple today. But not close to what I need to understand this.

Your thoughts?

Do you gossip or commit Loshon Hora?


I took this list off of my mother’s refrigerator after she passed away. Maybe it’s the most valuable thing she left me.

Being human, I have committed Loshon Hora, otherwise known as gossip. At times, it’s come back to haunt me. I’m sure everyone has had the same experience.

This list was Sponsored by Aish Ha Torah. They are an orthodox Jewish organization.


"Treasure" by Alfred Tibor, sculptor living in Columbus, Ohio.

However, they did not think Loshon Hora up.  It’s been a part of Jewish tradition for centuries. I first learned about it when taking a class at a Reform synagogue.

The Ten rules of Loshon Hora

1. Say only positive statements. Derogatory statements, even if true, are forbidden.

2. Promote people’s well being. Any statement that can cause someone physical, financial, or emotional harm is also loshon hora.

3. Humor is great, but make sure jokes aren’t at someone else’s expense.

4.Be kind to yourself. speaking badly even about yourself is loshon hora

5.Loshon hora cannot be communicated in any manner, be it through writing, body language or verbal hints.

6. It is loshon hora to speak against a community or to make harmful remarks about children—even your own.

7.Communicate with your spouse, but not loshon hora

8, It is forbidden to listen to loshon hora

9. Always give people the benefit of the doubt.

10. Loshon hora is permitted, or even required when warning a person about potential harm, for example, a potential business or marriage partner.

At the end of the list it says, “Words can hurt. Words can heal”

Do you think these rules pertain to today’s society?  Do you engage in gossip? What do you think would happen if everyone followed these rules?

Aren’t we getting more gossipy as time goes on? Turn on the Fox Channel or CNN and you will be listening to nothing but gossip! Is news gossip?

If you think the list for Loshon Hora is valuable, feel free to share it.