"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mercy: My Feelings On The Sean Bell Verdict

There is always a danger and tendency to lash back at one's enemies or perceived enemies but my hope is that there will be calm.

There should be no satisfaction in the suffering of others. There are many people who are sad right now. The family members of Mr. Bell for their loss, the police for being involved in such a case, and I am sure for realizing that no matter the intent, they did end a man's life. There are no winners and even if the verdict were guilty there never would have been.

It bothers me to see people crying at the verdict of Not Guilty. I wonder, would it mean they would have been rejoicing if the police were punished?

Because my blog is about me, a single Jewish girl in NYC dating and also about NYC and things that happen to me living here I am touching this issue from this focus. I am fully aware that there are other points of view and angles from which to write about this! Mine does not invalidate the next.

In Judaism there is a concept of "binfol oyevecha al tismach — that you should not rejoice when your enemy falls.

I think it is interesting that this happened during the Jewish holiday of Passover. For those who are not aware, Passover is the holiday where we celebrate our freedom from bondage. It is NOT however a holiday to rejoice in the downfall of the Egyptions. In fact in Judaism it is commanded that when your enemy falls you do not celebrate.

When we are around others who are full of anger and rage we must work harder to not be pulled into those feelings that can result in actions that are hurtful...in this case on a large scale.

I have been watching the news coverage of the outside of the courthouse. I live very close to that location. At this time I pray for peace and calmness and that all those who have suffered loss find some peace in their lives.

Rachmanus is a Hebrew word for Mercy. Our experience in Egypt as slaves was to teach us the lesson of sensitivity to suffering. Let all sides have mercy and understanding for the suffering they are experiencing and the sadness this city would experience should violence spill


swile67 said...

thanks for a bit of history of Judaism...i know this may sound like an oxymoron in light of the news story in your post, but it was very beautiful!

Lauren said...

Hi Karyn, Thanks for stopping by!

I actually do NOT think your comment is in anyway an oxymoron. I don't write online about what I do for a living...this blog in so many ways is my alter ego and I don't want my work life searchable to my personal life for obvious reasons. I will tell you that what I do relates much to balance. To have a story, any story be ALL one way, all negative without any positive would be imbalenced.

The funny part as you will see when you do read about my dating life as you wrote on another post is that there are many moments I write where I am just so upset or hurt or angry and I feel that is due to the strong imbalance in the situation I was presented with at the moment I was in it. I was raw in writing much of that part of me, and it is evidenced for sure.

It's all a lesson and I hope I have learned it well so that I do not have to repeat. It was painful enough the first/second time around.