If, like I, you are finding yourself speechless after using words like “tragedy,” “devastation” and “disaster” so many times this fall, you may find some words to say by looking at the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland's “Responding to Crisis” website.
Some links you might find particularly useful:
How to respond to children and teens in a crisis generated by humans
How children respond to crisis
Many of the quotes in the section “texts from our tradition” speak to me, but I particularly note one that we have been teaching our Sunday 3rd-5th graders at Emanu-El:
Who is mighty?
One who conquers his evil impulse.
As it is written,
Those who are slow to anger are better than the mighty,
And those who rule over their spirit than those who conquer a city.
Finally, many useful links in the resources section, and I sadly note that this one is helpful to know about right now:
Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of school shootings
This being the final evening of Chanukah, I thank all of you reading this for your dedication and rededication to keeping alive the flames of hope, courage, and faith. At times like these, I am so proud to belong to a tradition that for thousands of years has asserted that every human life is sacred and dared us to strive for a more righteous and more loving society. I know the metaphor of “passing along the torch” is a tired one, but when you are lighting the Shamash so your kid can light her menorah . . .