We are deeply moved by the tragedy that has befallen your people. We watch with admiration as you courageously resist your tears knowing that the loss of your loved ones is inwardly wrenching your hearts.
Your bravery in this hour of crisis is evident to all.
For generations people have found some consolation in the story of Job. Perhaps you might also find here some comfort and strength.
One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house,
a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby,
and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house,
when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.”
In the midst of your tears and sorrow for your loved ones, and as you mourn for all that is lost, may you also know that all is not lost. May you know the comfort of Job.
May you know the strength to pray even as my own people have prayed for generations. At our gravesites, in our homes during the days of “shiva” mourning, or amongst the ashes of Auschwitz, we stand, and through our tears, we find the courage to pray...
“yitgadal v’yitkadesh shemai raba…”
“Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world which he will renew, reviving the dead…
rebuilding the city and his shrine therein;
uprooting idolatry from the earth and restoring divine worship to its site…”
Our dearly beloved people of Japan. May you find the courage to stand in hope in the hour of your distress.
Even as it is written,
“These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
And He who sits on the throne will dwell amongst them.
They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;
for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Rev.7:14-17