This week our community, our family, suffered the sudden loss of the young member, named Scott Sterling, who lived less than a mile from us. The Torah, whose words are lessons to live by, advises us regarding deaths in our communities as follows: a loss to one member in our community is a loss to us all.
A community in some respects is like an extended family. We don’t always know each other by name, but we share a sense of inter-dependency on many levels.
Consider the roads we share, the surrounding nature we are blessed with, our schools, community markets, and so on, all play a role in this inter-dependency.
The Torah guides us to pay very close attention when a tragedy hits our community, and when tragic events happen so close at hand, we are meant to respond on many levels. Besides the practical and wise response of supporting the mourning family, we are also meant to stop for a moment and realize that this tragedy is a wake up call, that we are to answer by uniting in search of positive change.
As a Rabbi, I spend many an hour consoling people who are in pain or despair. I know not of any greater pain then the one that is experienced by parents who have lost a child. Together let us pray for the Sterling family, and in so doing may our hearts merge with theirs and may G-d heal their hearts.
As well, may I suggest to those of you reading these words to consider doing one positive deed in the memory of Scott Sterling. This will be our way, as a community, of sending positive light in the face of this tragic event.