The Grief is Too Large to Hold Alone: Message on Israel and Gaza

The Grief is Too Large to Hold Alone: Message on Israel and Gaza

The grief is too large to hold alone. Thousands of innocent people have lost their lives and millions are still at risk. We know that many members of our NewGround community have family and close friends on the ground in Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank who have been killed, injured or taken captive. So many of us are glued to our phones, gripped with fear of what could happen to our loved ones and to the millions of others directly impacted. 

The stories we have heard over the past several months are gut-wrenching. They have battered at our souls and broken our hearts day after day. We are all praying for an end to the violence as soon as possible: an end to the bombardment of Gaza, an end to the terror on Israel, a release of all hostages and political prisoners, and humanitarian relief that will meet both the immediate and long-term recovery needs of those who are still alive. 

NewGround is about building communities resilient enough to survive the greatest challenges. As our people reach out to us, they are expressing feelings of isolation, abandonment and confusion. Some people are desperately in need of hearing from their friends across this community, and so many are struggling to find the right words to communicate at all.

It is vital that we reach out to each other. It will be challenging and uncomfortable. Even when we care about each other, we will still struggle. But we must try our hardest to see each other and listen to each other’s story and pain. Our communities are all stronger when we are interconnected, and to be interconnected compels us to understand how our friends hurt and why.

Over the past months, we have convened our circles of MAJIC alumni, Fellowship alumni and religious leaders around L.A. to talk about all we are feeling and seeing. We have held spaces for our community members to share with one another what is most weighing on your hearts.

There is so much we can’t do, but witnessing one another’s pain and fear with deep compassion is something we can do. It won’t feel like enough. But as the Quran (5:32) and the Mishnah (Sanhedrin 4:5) remind us– to take a life is as if destroying all of humanity. And to save a life is as if saving all of humanity. We pray for a radical witnessing of each other in this moment as one of the most profound and courageous actions we can take right now. Especially as more lives hang in the balance. 

The grief is too large to hold alone. We have to find a way to hold it together. 

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