After the tragic synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh last week, I reached out to several of my Jewish friends to express my solidarity and affection.
One of the replies I received exemplifies the wisdom that accompanies Jewish faith and traditions. The response said, “I’m not sure how to end these things, but I do know that what you are doing—creating opportunities for kids—and what I am doing is “tikkun olam,” repairing the world. The whole idea is that we can never make the world perfect, but we are not allowed not to try.”
This week, we also had the chance to host in our CSF offices private school leaders from several schools attended by CSF scholarship recipients including a Jewish school, an Islamic school, several Catholic schools, an independent Christian school, and an independent secular school to talk about a joint project we are working on with them.
There couldn’t be a starker contrast to the internal horror motivating the killer in Pittsburgh; these are people whose beliefs inspire them to acts of joyful self-giving and generosity. They realized how special it was to be together and one of the school leaders said, “We have much more in common than we have that is different.”
In the approaching season of reflection marked by Thanksgiving and the holidays of December including Christmas, I hope we can all dig a bit deeper in our souls and treat each moment of every day and every person we encounter as a chance to do our part to “repair the world” and remember our common humanity and the dignity of every person.
I am so grateful for each person who helps to make the work of CSF possible and for every person reading this who intentionally resolves to treat the privilege of being alive as an opportunity to repair instead of tear down and to recognize that our differences are not nearly as powerful as what binds us together.