The Meron tragedy devastated the Jewish people. And it happened during a time of such great celebration. What message can be learned?
The Meron Tragedy
On early Friday morning April 30, 45 lives were cut short. Many who perished were children, teens, and young adults. They were all celebrating together for the Jewish holiday of Lag Baomer when disaster struck. The Meron tragedy is one of the worst peacetime tragedies Israel has experienced, if not the worst. It is heartbreaking. The tears of the people of Israel keep flowing. Parents lost their children; children lost their fathers. Wives lost their husbands. Families were torn apart. The whole nation of Israel and Jewish people throughout the world have been mourning together. Everyone is praying for G-d to comfort the bereaved families and to heal the 150 plus people who were injured, some of whom are fighting for their lives.
What is the proper response? Blame? Anger? Maybe there is room for that at another point. Those who need to investigate will do their job. But right now, the country is still mourning. Families are still completely broken. So right now, the proper response is to spread kindness; to love one another more.
And if a bereaved father who just lost his son in this terrible disaster can share this powerful message, we are obligated to listen. If he is responding with kindness and not anger, we are obligated to open our hearts. In Meron, Jews of all different sects and levels of religiosity danced and sang together. And when the tragedy struck, Jews of all different types came to help save lives.
Because at the end of the day, the Jewish people are one family. We should stop waiting for catastrophes to strike in order to feel united. We should love one another during the good times as well.