Expressions of grief & compassion
"YOU WILL NOT HAVE MY HATRED"
Stunning words from Paris victim’s husband to ISIS: ‘You will not have my hatred’
By Colby Itkowitz
The Washington Post
When faced with unspeakable tragedy and sadness, expressions of grief are a personal matter; there is no one “right” or “appropriate” way to mourn. Antoine Leiris, a Frenchman who lost his wife and mother of his young son to the Paris terrorist bombings on Friday, has chosen to let the world know that while he is “devastated with grief,” he will not allow the terrorists to “have his hatred.” He will grieve and honor his late wife’s memory by choosing to live in the present with his joyful son: “[His son] will eat his snack like he does every day, then we will play like we do every day and every day of his life this little boy will affront you by being happy and free, because you will not have his hatred either.”
by Karuna Ezara
This poem, posted on Facebook by a Dehli-based blogger named Karuna Ezara, went viral this past weekend. Writing on her Facebook page the day after Friday’s attacks on Paris, Ezara said: "I woke this morning deeply disturbed by the news from #Paris, but more amazed by the attention it received on social media. I understand Paris is a beloved and familiar space for a lot of people, but it troubled me that #Beirut, a city my father grew up in, had received so little attention after the horrific bombings two days earlier. It also troubled me that #Baghdad, a place I have absolutely no connection with, received even less attention after the senseless bombing that took place there last week.” With that sentiment in mind, she was inspired to write the following:
It is not Paris we should pray for.
It is the world. It is a world in which Beirut,
reeling from bombings two days before Paris,
is not covered in the press.
A world in which a bomb goes off
at a funeral in Baghdad
and not one person's status update says "Baghdad",
because not one white person died in that fire.
Pray for the world
That blames a refugee crisis for a terrorist attack.
That does not pause to differentiate between the attacker
and the person running from the very same thing you are.
Pray for the world
where people walking across countries for months,
their only belongings upon their backs,
are told they have no place to go.
Say a prayer for Paris by all means,
but pray more,
for the world that does not have a prayer
for those who no longer have a home to defend.
For a world that is falling apart in all corners,
and not simply in the towers and cafes we find so familiar.
STRENGTH THROUGH PRAYER
The Power of Prayer
by Illana Angel
What moves you to prayer? In this article, Illana Angel writes about her Jewish faith and belief in the power of prayer. She reflects that while some people in her life "believe in prayer and therefore want [her] voice added to theirs, others don’t believe, but know [she does], so they ask because they need help." Reflecting further, she writes: "I don't believe it matters who prays, who doesn’t, who means it, or who is throwing their voice into the mix because it seems like the right thing to do." For her, prayer is about putting something into the universe directed to something bigger than herself. Do you agree? What role does prayer play during times of grief and tragedy?