Statement & Prayer for the Sikh Memorial Service

on Sunday, 12 August 2012. Posted in Community Events

My friends, what is it that most clearly allows us to see?

They say that love is blind, but that is not quite right. For love actually opens our eyes to qualities and aspects that mere sight misses. Love allow us to see the essential God-given humanity, the tzelem Elohim, the image of God, as well as the divine soul, the neshama present in every human being.

No, it is not love but hatred that is blind. Hatred blocks out our ability to see that innate quality in every creature. Acts of hate are by nature blind, a darkening of the divine light that otherwise shines from every one of us.

IMG 1681This was never more clearly illustrated than when a terrorist atrocity killed and wounded Sikhs this week, the terrorist believing that their difference in clothing and practice somehow made them something that they were not. The murder of innocents is always tragic and terrible. The murder of the wrong innocents is perhaps no more tragic—but in its profound blindness it illustrates this negating truth. All terrorist acts are acts of hatred, and each is self-blinding, for each blots out the essential truth of our God-given holiness.

May God bring healing to those who were wounded. May God give solace to those who mourn.

In our memorial today, we pray, using Jewish terms, that their souls shine k'zohar harakiah mei'irim umazhirim, may the souls and memories of these murdered innocents shine like the brightness of God's firmament. May the blindness of this hate be dispelled by the light of their souls. May our world finally come to know and understand that hatred blinds, and that love and light must flourish for us to be worthy of this world, and to create holiness and goodness. May their memory bring only blessing, and may the Divine One bring comfort to us, and to all who mourn.

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