iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Rabbi Berel Lerman

GET UPDATES FROM Rabbi Berel Lerman
 

Let's All Be Children for a Day: Reflections on the Sandy Hook Tragedy

Posted: 12/19/2012 11:38 am

In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, which brought about the brutal slaughter of 20 innocent little angels and six caring adults, people around the U.S. reacted with shock and disbelief.
There is nothing that hurts more than the loss of innocent life, especially when it involves children. People are looking for answers. How could this have happened? How can such evil exist? What did the children do wrong? What motivated the killer? As much as we look for answers there is nothing that can minimize this horrific loss of life.

The aftermath of this tragedy is sure to be full of theories of what may have caused this event and how we can prevent this in the future. There will be much debate on the issues; whether it is mental illness awareness, gun control laws or security at schools. Religious leaders will offer a response based on faith.

One thing is certain children strike a chord deep in our psyche. Be it a child's friendly smile radiating with true love, a curious question that grabs our attention or a small hand wanting to play peek-a-boo.

Little children are pure, sacred and contain unbridled truth. As we grow older so do our egos. Our view of the world may easily be obscured by our hidden agenda of "what's in it for me?" Children on the other hand see the world without an incredible hunch of selfishness influencing their view.

However, deep down we still always have our childlike innocence and it surfaces every once in a while. It is particularly triggered when caring and interacting with children. A child's innocence and genuine love have the ability to penetrate our own spark of truth, sanctity and goodness that we all contain deep down within. I have seen this on a number of occasions whether in a crowded waiting room or on an overbooked flight, suddenly a small child gestures or smiles and that captivates everyone's attention.

Our childlike truthfulness also comes to pass in times of tragedy. When the stark reality of human mortality flashes before us, a moment of truth befalls a person.

The Sandy Hook tragedy reminds of the mortality of life and with so many victims being young children it certainly broke the heart of millions of Americans and triggered a feeling of sensitivity to what's truly significant in life.

In memory of the beautiful little children and adults whose lives were cut short by a manic monster, let us evoke our childlike innocence and bring more goodness into the world. Let us try to see through the pettiness that divides us or the superficial pursuits that consume us and do something special for someone else. Reach out to a family member who you don't talk to regularly, help a friend who is in need, work on being a little more spiritual through prayer or study and minimize the times you are nasty to others. All of us, in our own spheres of influence; let's try to mimic the innocence and purity of those who tragically lost their lives in Sandy Hook Elementary School -- with goodness and love let's all be children for a day!

This shall hopefully soon lead to another day spoken of by Isaiah "[when] He will destroy death ... and wipe away tears from all faces"!

 

Follow Rabbi Berel Lerman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/berellerman

FOLLOW RELIGION