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Fall 2013-Winter 2019

01/15/2019 11:29:54 PM


“Dear Members of Or Haneshamah,
As many of you are aware, there was a massive accident yesterday morning in Ottawa involving an OC Transpo bus and a Via Rail train.” 
That was the opening of my very first message to you as a community, early in September 2013.
What a shattering afternoon it was this past Friday for our city. Again, eerily, an OC Transpo bus was involved in a tragic accident. As of this writing, three people have lost their lives, one remains critically injured, and many others continue to cope from the trauma of the incident.
I wrote then: “When something like this happens so close to home, we are all touched by such a brush with randomness. In addition, some of us are likely to be connected directly to those experiencing the impact of this tragedy.”
Yes, and yes. The young student who lives in our basement was two buses behind. Our home is just around the corner from the next stop from the Westboro Station.
“Many will ask: Why? Faced with so much that is inexplicable about this event, we are flooded with many other questions and feelings. The one thing I know for sure is that when life is cut short in such a seemingly inexplicable way, we become instant witnesses to life as a precious gift.”
Some of us will work this week, or go to school, go about our routines with both a typical sense of normalcy as well as an occasional and perhaps unbidden reminder of the accident – a news clip, a newspaper story, a memory. We’re not likely, unless we are celebrating a birthday or other special occasion, to think of any particular day as a gift.
“In Psalm 90 we read: Teach us to treasure each day.” Give us, the psalmist implores, the inspiration and the resources to see each day as gift, to open it with excitement, to lift it up with precious care.
As we share in the city’s sorrow for those who mourn and support for those in need of healing, let us find in ourselves, and nourish in each other, the capacity to treasure each day.

-Rabbi Liz

Tue, February 25 2020 30 Sh'vat 5780