Blogging Ellul; Remembering 9.11

10 years ago, Rosh Hashanah fell on September 15th. I imagine every rabbi in the world rewrote their sermons that New Year. 10 years on, the horrors of 9.11 still choke me, who knew no one killed and had never before then visited New York. So much pain and violence then and since then, often justified by twisted readings of various religions. It is hard to find comfort when faced with such horrific actions, but in Ellul, when we are remembering to look inwardly at ourselves, to examine our relationships and how we are in the world, we are reminded on this poignant and painful anniversary that the world is still very much broken, just as each of us is. Every act of goodness and healing we undertake, for ourselves or others, takes us a small step closer to the wholeness we pray for for ourselves and for humanity in our hope for a messianic age of peace and harmony for all. Human orchestrated evil and suffering continue to be a reality, but so do acts of heroism and beauty. In Ellul we must each commit to being the perpetrators of such goodness, not because of who others are and whatever evil they may bring into the world, but because of who each and every one of us is. The root of the Hebrew word for peace - shalom - is to do with wholeness, showing us that only when we are whole do we have peace. The world is broken and we are each broken in our varied and different ways. We strive this Ellul for wholeness for ourselves, and for those around us, and for the world, aware that we must work even harder because so many others have had their potential and wholeness cut short. We can make ourselves whole, but we can only make society whole with others, and so in Ellul we also reach out to repair our relationships, and perhaps even to seek new ones that through dialogue and growing understanding allow us to create more wholeness in the wider world. We begin with ourselves, but we do not end with ourselves.


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