Strength and support after Boston tragedy

Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh received a B.A. from Skidmore College and was ordained as a Rabbi from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She is fortunate to be involved in so many facets of the community including serving as the chaplain for JF&CS and an instructor for CAJE. This will be her fifth year serving as the visiting Rabbi in Decatur, Ill. She has also served congregations in both Sydney and Perth, Australia. When not writing her weekly BLOGS, she can be found running marathons.

By Elizabeth Hersh

I was having a particularly challenging few days with little chance of improvement.  And then the telephone calls, texts and emails began pouring in. Reports of the explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon were all over the news. Immediately we knew there were fatalities and horrible injuries.

Friends, acquaintances, and co-workers were contacting me to see where I was. I heard from people whom I had not been in contact with for over a year. Had I gone to Boston this year as I had in 2008 and 2010? No. I was safe in St. Louis. My worries began to slowly melt away.


I was glued to the news as the day progressed. I was sickened at the news of children injured and worse. Injuries apparently included missing limbs. In my mind’s eye I could envision the finish line and other places mentioned in the news. This was too real for me.

I was amazed as calls continued to come in from around the U.S. and even Australia. I am stunned how humanity pulls together during times of tragedy. I wanted to hug my son a little tighter and talk to my running buddies. I wanted to know that we will be safe at the race we are traveling to next month.

The troubles in my mind have certainly shifted as I say a prayer for those injured and killed in Boston. They need our strength and support not only today but in the weeks and months to follow. This was a crime against all the nations so proudly represented in Boston.