Towards the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, Miriam, Moses’ sister, dies. In mourning for her loss, not only do Moses and Aaron stop traveling for a week’s time, the entire community of Israel stops and stands with them.
When a loss occurs, we as a Jewish people take it upon ourselves to make sure that no one ever needs to stand alone. We join them in their homes as they sit Shiva. We join with them as they recite the Kaddish in our services and assure that a quorum is present so that Kaddish can be said. We realize that even when a loss isn’t our loss, it is our responsibility to stand and support those who have suffered.
Now, of course, this is not only true within the Jewish community. When anyone suffers, we all mourn with them. Their loss is our loss and we must do all that we can to bring repair. As our ancestors did, we must stand together assuring that no one ever needs to stand alone. We can deliver a meal, help make a minyan for them to say Kaddish, or just give them a hug. We all have a role to play to assure that anyone who suffers a loss need never feel alone.