.על-אֵלֶּה אֲנִי בוֹכִיָּה, עֵינִי עֵינִי יֹרְדָה מַּיִם--כִּי-רָחַק מִמֶּנִּי מְנַחֵם, מֵשִׁיב נַפְשִׁי; הָיוּ בָנַי שׁוֹמֵמִים, כִּי גָבַ אוֹיֵב
For these I weep; my eye, my eye runs down with water; because the comforter is far from me, even he that should refresh my soul; my children are desolate, because the enemy hath prevailed. (Lamentations 1:16)
The words of this verse have stuck with me since I heard of the murder of the three Israeli teenagers – Eyal Yifrah, 19; Gil-ad Shaar, 16; and Naftali Frenkel, 16, z"l.
Lamentations, the book that expresses the ultimate mourning of the Jewish people, expresses the deep pain and sadness of loss. This book, which tells of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, also reminds of the destructive power of human disagreements and hatred. We are reminded of the power of coming together as a people and of the importance of acts of loving kindness.
Let us use this terrible tragedy as an opportunity for the coming together of our communities and of our people. Let us be consolation to one another and to the families of these young boys.
The book of Lamentations concludes --
.הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ ה’ .אֵלֶיךָ וְנָשׁוּבָה, חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם
-- Return us to You, O Lord, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old. Let us pray and work together to return to our days of old – to Eden, to a world of peace and calm.
Abi Dauber Sterne is the Hillel International Vice President for Global Jewish Experience & Director of the Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Experience.