Askmoses-A Jews Resource
What Are the 12 Tribes' Flags?
Browse our archives

The Scholar is ready to answer your question. Click the button below to chat now.


Scholar Online:

Type in your question here:

Click the button below to either CHAT LIVE with an AskMoses Scholar now - or - leave a message if no Scholar is currently online.

CHAT or LEAVE A MESSAGE

A Lone Gunman

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

Library » Life Cycle » Death » Mourning | Subscribe | What is RSS?


PRINT EMAIL COMMENT

I heard the news while driving on campus.

It was early afternoon and between classes. Outside my car windows I saw hundreds of innocent looking students traversing the sidewalks and pathways, walking about peacefully on a beautiful California spring day.

Inside the car I was at another university campus 3000 miles away. I couldn’t see that campus, but I could hear its cries. I don’t know if anyone was walking around, but I imagine people were clustered together in hiding. Their day might have begun as a beautiful spring morning, but now it was a dark day of mourning.

How? Why? Not again! What is wrong with us?

Can it happen here?

I stopped to pick up a student who had his hand out trying to catch a ride. He gratefully accepted my offer and hopped in. He didn’t know me, yet he wasn’t afraid to ride with me.

A silent shooter made a lot of noise. Don't mourn silently. Reach out to a fellow student. Offer to help with homework. Look around your classroom and take an outsider out for coffee, or include her in your next outing with your friends.
He didn’t hear the news yet.

Can you still trust a stranger? Can you feel secure on your own college campus?

Some questions just remain unanswered. Better yet, they remain unanswerable.

I stopped asking about what happened and began pondering what will happen.

Can you live in fear? Should your life stop? Will that help? Or will that create more “loners” desperately looking for means of expression?

When you see a fellow student standing alone should you observe with suspicion or should you approach with sympathy?

Do we need to lock classroom doors, or do we need to open social cliques? Are our campuses welcoming madmen or are our societies ostracizing those who don’t “fit in”?

I know there is no justification for the killing of innocent people. I am not looking to justify. I am not even looking to explain. What happened is tragic. It hurts. The pain is not alleviated with a theory.

I am focused on what will happen. What will prevent the pain from rearing its ugly head in yet another school?

Will we be able to eliminate loneliness on our vast college campuses, or will we retract back to our sheltered groups of friends? Will we continue to call our children to see if they are safe after tragedies, or will we reach out to other children in need and treat them as our own.

A silent shooter made a lot of noise. Don’t mourn silently. Reach out to a fellow student. Offer to help with homework. Look around your classroom and take an outsider out for coffee, or include her in your next outing with your friends.

Let’s put an end to loneliness before it puts an end to another innocent life.


ADD A COMMENT

Please email me when new comments are posted (you must be  logged in).

COMMENTS

article

Posted by: Anonymous on Apr 21, 2007

this is a very interesting article...

I agree. mourning silently is perhaps, something like a crime. if one lone person can create so much noise only to end it off with a resounding silence, surely we can mourn loudly, reaching out to others, and end it off with the wonderous sound of life.