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Tragedy: Letters to the Editor

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Crazy just ‘is’

I think it would suffice to say that we’re all in a state of shock over the recent hate crime that rocked the entire fabric of our community, in fact that of the entire world. Right now we share a lot of deep sadness with those families directly affected, holding them in our thoughts and prayers. Events as such leave us grieving, feeling insecure and questioning in utter disbelief why/how this all could have happened. But, you can’t expect to be able to reason/rationalize with an irrational person. Crazy just “is.” Indeed, it’s all so incomprehensible! Quite the contrary, however, it was Albert Einstein who was once quoted to say, “The eternal mystery of the world IS its comprehensibility.”

The perpetrator of this despicable hate crime is obviously a delusional individual that embraces a hate so intense, so consuming that he could justify to himself such heinous actions. As Jews, we believe that creation is based upon the practice of kindness, compassion and forgiveness toward everything — inside and outside ourselves — in everything we do: words, thoughts and actions. Forgiveness is not about excusing the misdeeds of others, but about letting go the negative emotion (i.e., anger) that we burden upon ourselves. The Talmud says that good deeds are their own reward and misdeeds are their own punishment. Our passion need be guided not by anger but by a desire for good; to extrapolate the good from within (evil) and let go of any negative emotions tied therewith.

As Jews, we practice kavanah — a continual awareness of the implications of everything we do; attuning our thoughts/words/actions toward a spiritual focus/awareness, an interconnectedness to all things rather than a materialistic/separateness. As such, we continue with our Seder, evermore reminded of our real connection to the events of our ancestors.

Dr.John Fasbinder

Lenexa, Kan.

 

Muslim community prays for victims and Jews

The Muslims of the greater Kansas City community are deeply shocked and saddened by the horrific and tragic shootings which resulted in deaths and injuries. We are deeply saddened and distressed by this cowardly act which targeted innocent people.

Muslims have always stood shoulder to shoulder during perilous times that our nation has faced. These attacks do nothing but strengthen our resolve to fight back such cowardly acts and unite us more. Our prayers go out for the fallen victims and to the Jewish community in greater Kansas City. May the families of the victims have the forbearance and may the inflicted recover from their injuries quickly.

We would also like to commend our law enforcement teams for apprehending the culprit so quickly before he could hurt more people. We are confident that justice will be served.

Shakil Haider

Chairman, Midland Islamic Council

 

Message of hope

We extend our deepest sympathies for the families and friends of those killed and injured in the recent shooting in Overland Park at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom. This is the time of year for celebration and commemoration in many faiths, a time when communities look to the renewal of spring and hope.

Our hearts go out to the Jewish community, the victims and their families, to the victims’ faith communities, to the entire Kansas City area, and all the world touched by this tragedy.

When confronted with senseless, vicious acts of violence, we can get overwhelmed by confusion, grief and anger, and the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council is offering prayers for healing and understanding. We honor the rich diversity of culture and religions that enhance our lives, and we speak with one voice of peace and respect.

The Council wants everyone to know the outpouring of emails and calls from around the country and world from interfaith communities has been inspiring and gives hope. These groups and individuals want everyone in Kansas City to know they care and are ready to support in whatever way they can.

We celebrate the gifts of pluralism in our city. Whatever our individual faith traditions, we simply can’t imagine being separate … we can’t imagine our lives without each other.

We invite the people of our community, in every church, temple, synagogue, home, and wherever you may be, to come together in a Prayer for Community Peace at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 20, reflecting on the time and day of the week this tragedy occurred.

Mary McCoy

Co-Convener

Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council