On Wednesday morning, Rabbi Taubes addressed the entire student body after davening to reflect upon the unspeakable tragedy that took place last week in Newtown, Connecticut, which resulted in the devastating loss of so many young and innocent lives. He stressed that we dare not think that just because this was not an attack specifically targeting either Jewish people or a Jewish institution, it does not deserve our attention and thoughtful contemplation. Our Torah in fact teaches, as articulated in the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos (3:14), that every human being is beloved, because every human being was created b’tzelem Elokim, in the image of G-d. A horrible story like this should therefore prompt us to ponder the precious nature of each and every individual. We cannot allow ourselves to become desensitized to the value of a human life, which can happen in a society in which we have grown accustomed to “body counts,” whether real – as regularly depicted in images in the news through various media outlets, or fictional – as often seen in movies and video games.

Rabbi Taubes reminded all students that our Guidance Staff is available to anyone who might wish to discuss these matters in private and concluded that we must try to feel the pain and the anguish of those who are suffering so profoundly because of this terrible event, we must extend our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy to those who lost loved ones, and we must pray that G-d grant comfort to those who are in need of it and that He spare us all such sorrow in the future.

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