I’ve had a blog for fifteen years now, and one of the real problems with having a blog is that I feel the urge to opine on every damned thing that goes on. I mean, I have this platform, don’t I? And surely my correct opinions ought to be given that platform so that the wide populace can benefit from them?
Well, aside from all the other reasons I don’t write much anymore, I’m increasingly uncertain that my opinions are correct, or that anyone would really benefit from them if they happen to be correct. This is particularly true about The Latest News, whatever it happens to be—I used to swap right from the news to the blog draft and whip out my takes whilst they were hot. We didn’t call them hot takes in those days, of course, but they were hot and they were takes.
I don’t have a take on the killings in Pittsburgh a couple of days ago.
I am writing this anyway.
A friend of mine is a priest who had the task of giving a sermon yesterday, the day after the shootings, and had written about Job. Tough bit of Scripture, Job. She focused on Job’s friends, who are indeed one of the fascinating parts of the book. When Eliphaz and Bildad and Zophar first hear about Job’s bereavement, they come to him, and sit with him, and ayn dovayr aylayn davar, they don’t speak, not a word, but sit with him in silence. And in that silence, Job lets loose his complaints. And at the end of those complaints, Eliphaz responds: haneesah davar eylechah tilah, he begins, if we try to talk, will you be upset? And without waiting for an answer he continues va’atzor b’meeleen mee yoochal, to hold back from speaking—who has that strength?
Who has that strength?
I am writing this blog post as an attempt to have that strength—to sit, as quietly as I can, with the mourners of Zion, and just be with them. I am not going to try to have answers this time. Or even questions. If you would like me with you, in grief, I am with you. Tolerabimus, everybody. Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus. Deal we will—together, I hope—for deal we must.