The Hierarchy of Tragedy

with No Comments

Tragedy is not a competiton; it’s not a suffering olympics where the goal is the gold medal of atrocity. In a recent New York Times article and a subsequent NPR story the journalist Anne Barnard commented that we need to treat similar tragedies with equal dignity. She was talking about the massive coverage of the Paris bombings vs the prior bombing in Lebanon. How do we learn to cherish all human life?

Quoting my friend Steve Copeleand quoting Ha rav Kook:

 Moreover, to fulfill this obligation correctly one must enter deeply to really understand the ways-of-knowing of the various peoples and groups, to study – to learn as much as possible of their ways and characteristics – in order to know how to establish the love of all creatures and the love of the human-being all upon foundations that closely enter-into actual realized deed. Because only with an individual’s soul rich in the love of all creatures and in the love of the human-being everyone can the love of one’s own particular nation ascend in the genius of its effluent-nobility and spiritual and practical greatness. Indeed, it is a narrowness of vision – that causes one to see everything outside the borders of his/her own special nation – even if it is outside the sphere — the-defining-character of Israel — to see that is only ugliness and that-with-which-one-is-not-to-engage-any-contact; this is a view-and-a-mode-of-relating-conducting-oneself that is one of the darkening-ways-of-being which is most terrible – which causes a overall ruining of every building-up of what is good and spiritual – whose light — whose advancement — every sensitive soul anticipates-looks-ever-more-forward- and-actively-practically-works-toward-increasing-realization.”

Leave a Reply