The perception of helplessness often brings about selective memory. Once something is
out of mind, we no longer focus energy on trying to change it. Wearing bright orange clothing this coming Friday will not in and of itself prevent gun violence, but it will help keep the issue at the forefront of our collective thoughts. Perhaps it will remind us to share our views on the matter with others. Maybe the sight of the NYC skyline dominated by an orange-lit Empire State Building might move a politician to action. We need reminders that the status-quo is not an acceptable future for our children, reminders that move us to action. The memory of school shootings is painful, but it must not be forgotten.
That our collective memory tends to suppress the challenging and grievous is brought out in this week’s Torah portion B’haalotecha. As the Israelites wander in the desert anxious about their future and bored with the sustenance which God provides in the form of manna, they suppress the cruelty and oppression of slavery, preferring instead to think fondly of their time in Egypt. This week’s Torah portion provides us with an important lesson in what not to do!
Hope to see you at our Family Service this Friday, wearing the color that reminds us we need to take action to prevent the gun violence that currently plagues our lives.