Monday, February 05, 2007

The Only Comfort

I’ve just returned from a condolence
visit to England.

My grandparents – 96 and 94 – lost their eldest daughter in Israel after a long and gritty struggle against cancer.

There are no words. No comfort.

The Jewish custom allows friends and acquaintances to visit the bereaved for seven days after the funeral. So at least my grandparents were overwhelmed with warm and caring visitors from morning to night.

But there are no words. No comfort.

My grandfather was the British Army chaplain at the time the Allies liberated Bergen-Belsen in 1945. He’s seen his fair share of suffering.

And he said his own personal grief pales in the shadow of the suffering of the Jewish people.
But still... a child is a child.

And there are no words. No comfort.

We can never know why there’s suffering... Or why the Jewish people have had such a generous supply of it...

But now we have a Jewish State and a Jewish army. And we have a faith that has lasted since the first Jew in the world was asked to sacrifice his own son...

And that’s a comfort.

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