Not only is death inevitable, it can come without advance notice at any moment. In a fleeting speck of time a young smiling man was turned from life to death. Undergirding all of our shocked numbness was the realization that any life may be turned to death with just as little advance notice.
This sermon addresses the first anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, yet the core message is still applicable today and perhaps even more so in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rabbi Olan notes that the assassination confronted us with our own mortality while also exposing the ugly side of the city: the poverty, the slums, the things we often sweep under the rug. Rabbi Olan challenges Dallas and us to work together to make meaningful change to the city, to drive away the hate and use our time to make this a peaceful community. As we currently face these uncertain times, may we take his words to heart.
In this hour of memory, the first anniversary of a tragedy, let us remember that death is the lot of each of us and makes each life worthy; that a nation to be strong must be cleansed of the poison of hate; that the city chosen by destiny for the tragic drama of our time can become a city of truth, goodness, and beauty.
*Written by Anjelica Ruiz.*