How do we say, “Happy are the poor” to the desperately poor of Haiti in the wake of the recent earthquake? It’s clear from Yeshua’s example that we don’t say it, or anything else, that we are not ready to enact ourselves. Better, that we enact it instead of saying it at all. The true response to the mystery of suffering is not a matter of better words, but of taking on a portion of the suffering somehow to relieve it. I don’t know how to do that on behalf of Haiti or Darfur or the back alleys of Juarez. I am sure that targeted prayer and careful giving are a start, and perhaps others can suggest where to go from there. In the meantime, let’s make sure we don’t use “Happy are the poor” to dodge helping the poor. Instead, it’s a rebuke of our pursuit of advantage and accumulation—not something to tell others, but to tell ourselves.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Another quote from Rabbi Russ
This is from Russ's recent post on the Sermon on the Mount--and it mentions the situation in Haiti (Don't Stand Idly By!) as well: