Many people remember where they were 50 years ago. In Highland Park, Illinois, many came to Congregation Solel, where I am now the rabbi.
In memory of our late President, I ventured into our synagogue archives, and found the following, which I hope will move our hearts, minds and souls.
Death is a Mystery
“The death of President Kennedy is a turning point in your life and mine. We shall never be quite the same as we were before November 22nd, and we must not. No notion of ours is quite so secure, no hope so firm, no knowing so resolute…
The mystery is not resolved in time. That is the nature of a mystery. Problems are solved at last, even great scientific puzzles. But mysteries only deepen. The meaningless death of the young prince cannot be explained or explained away. It continues to be the religious fact that it was at first, more awful and more mysterious every day.”
–Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf
Words Are Not Enough
“Dear God, we know the words are not enough—but let our coming together in common grief to pray for John Kennedy, bring us to a new dimension, a dimension beyond ourselves.
Help us to continue to reach out to one another, and in so doing, come to that state of selflessness that is the truth of love… Free us, O God, from the prison of ourselves—and show us that this inner freedom will be an ecstasy of the spirit, a miracle of the soul. Teach us, that in our souls there lives the need to love.”
–Personal Prayer Delivered by Congregant Irving Hanig
May our late President’s memory always be for a blessing.
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