“Each of us is but a breath” (Psalm 39)


So close to home, our city has been shaken by the derailment of Amtrak Train 188 on the way from Washington to New York this past Tuesday night. It is hard to believe that this tragedy has happened less than ten miles from GJC, on a train-line so many of us and those close to us know well. We mourn the loss of Laura Finamore, Giuseppe Piras, Justin Zemser, Jim Gaines, Abid Gilani, Rachel Jacobs, Derrick Griffith and Bob Gildersleeve. We pray that their loved ones will be held by family, friends and community as they grieve. We pray for healing for all those who were injured, in body and in spirit. We are grateful to Philadelphia’s first responders, to our police officers, firefighters and EMT’s, to the doctors and nurses in our city’s trauma centers and hospitals, to neighbors who came out of their Frankford Avenue homes to help. “Each of us is but a breath,” we read in Psalm 39.  Our lives are so precious and so fragile. This week, we are reminded of how much is beyond our control and how much we need each other to make it through this world. May the breath of Shabbat sustain us and help us to remember what is most important. As we continue our counting of the Omer, may we see each new day as a gift; an opportunity for love, connection and action.