A Reform Jewish Community for all of Tucson
April 19, 2012, in the wake of the Boston Marathon attack
Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Temple Emanu-El, Tucson, AZ
This was a strange week indeed, with the horrible terror attack at the Boston Marathon on Patriot's Day shocking the entire nation and perhaps the world, all in a season when we usually enjoy the lovely spring weather and the early baseball season and when life is typically pretty sweet. Not so much enjoyment this week... And then today there was another killing, a policeman at M.I.T., and the authorities managed to shoot one of the terrorists who later died, and because of the manhunt for the other terrorist all of Boston was pretty much shut down until they found the second suspect. Tonight in Boston some congregations were actually unable to hold Shabbat services because of the manhunt and road and transportation closures.
In a weird way, our Torah portion's name seems particularly appropriate tonight: Acharei Mot is the first of our doubled parshiyot, and that means "After the death..." And that is once again where we find ourselves right now, a little violated, trying to evaluate how we feel after another violent death.