The life of the individual only has meaning insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful. Life is sacred that is to say, it is the supreme value to which all other values are subordinate.
-Albert Einstein

From "Be Still and Get Going: A Jewish Meditation Practice for Real Life" by Alan Lew:

It was a scene worthy of an Eisenstein movie. All three oncoming lanes were clogged full of cars backed up and sitting still for what seemed like miles. The line stretched all the way back to the city. There at the head of this logjam was a terrible accident, two cars on the side of the road, both of them apparently totaled. There were ambulances and police cars all around. An accident victim was being lifted from one of the cars and put into an ambulance.

And here is the moment that healed me. There must have been eight men around that stretcher, big burly cops and ambulance drivers, but they were lifting that stretcher with an incredible delicacy. You could see on their faces and by the way they held their hands that they were aware of what a precious and fragile burden they were carrying, what a sacred thing - a human being, a human life. You could see the wonder and the concern in those big burly faces, and suddenly you could see it in the entire scene stretching before your eyes. You could see it in all the hundreds of cars that had stopped on the freeway behind this accident, in this long line of traffic stretching back for miles. How sacred was this life? So sacred that all these cars would stop to honor the delicacy - the tenuousness - of this moment.

Suddenly I realized I was watching an immense pageant, a pageant to the sanctity of life, a pageant directed by God. Few if any of the people in all those cars realized that they were participating in this pageant. Most of them had no idea why the traffic had come to a standstill or that they were waiting for a life to be saved, waiting while eight burly men inched forward toward the ambulance with their precious burden. The people in the cars had their own purposes for being on Highway 280 that day. They thought they were on the way to the airport or to the Serramonte Shopping Center or to work. Each had his own particular understanding of the implications of what was going on: I will be late; I am sitting here stewing because the car ahead of me is sitting there stewing, because the car ahead of him is sitting there stewing, and so on into infinity. They had no idea they were serving a larger purpose at the moment, that God was employing them to express that life is so precious that all activity - even the progress of hundreds of cars on the freeway - must come to a complete stop if even one life is in peril.

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