“…all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God’s hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again, for that library where every book shall lie open to one another; …
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
MEDITATION XVII. Donne, John (1572-1631). From The Works of John Donne. vol III. Henry Alford, ed. London: John W. Parker, 1839. Pages 574-5.
Note: I have not changed the original English nor adjusted the gender exclusivity of John Donne’s original.
Dear Rabbi, Yes, how appropriate. Our hearts are one with victims of violence. The challenge now is to find ethical ways now to eradicate this violence.
Yes, we all are deeply diminished by these tragic losses. As for the presence of God’s hand in it, well, I consider that another matter for another day, better left until the mourning has past..
Roger Schwarz, LMFT, JD 310-614-0604 email@example.com rogerschwarz.com (links to blog and video)
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