Sandy has hit some of us harder—much harder—than others. Children confronted with personal tragedy or near tragedy, or witnessing it second hand, will often ask their parents “How could God let this happen?” At times like this parents will often turn to clergy for advice. How can they best help their children?
My advice is always the same: Don’t say anything you yourself don’t believe. Most of all at times like this children need to feel safe. Speaking from your own personal place of religious/spiritual conviction will go a long way toward that end.
If your tradition offers more than one way of looking at events such as these, go with the one you feel most authentically aligns with your own personal belief. For instance, there is a statement in the Talmud “Ha’olam mitnaheg k’minhago,” “Nature follows its own course”—and that’s the explanation I give our own children. A warm, wet hurricane met up with a cold, snowy Nor’easter. That’s how it happened. And now our work is to do whatever we can to help each other, house each other, heal each other. (United Jewish Appeal has already established a Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund to which you may donate.)
Some of us have already had our power, light, heat, phone and internet restored. Others of us may be looking at another weekend or even week in the dark. PATCH has been doing a terrific job of keeping us updated on the storm and its aftermath. Check out the “Storm Hub” for your own community. To find out about other communities—in Westchester and in other affected counties and states—go to http://www.patch.com/ and search by state and community.
Pleasantville Community Synagogue is Open. Join us for heat, hugs, and something to eat. Services Friday night at 7:15 p.m., Saturday at 9 a.m. (meditation), Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. (services). Lunch for everyone - members and non-members welcome—with hot coffee and tea, Saturday at Noon.
Rabbi Mark Sameth is the spiritual leader of Joyful Judaism: Pleasantville Community Synagogue an inclusive, progressive synagogue—with members from 20 towns, villages and cities all across Westchester and “A Hebrew School Your Kids Can Love.” Read The New York Times article. Follow Rabbi Mark on Twitter . Weekly meditation at the synagogue every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. is open to the public; everyone—without exception—is welcome and warmly invited. OUR MEMBERSHIP DRIVE IS ON. See “Top Ten Reasons to Join PCS” at www.ShalomPCS.com.