Off the Pulpit: A lesson on this week’s loss


This was a week of losses. The horrible shooting in Pittsburgh preoccupies all of us, and the question of how to respond. Yet another loss we suffered this week points the way.

In our community, we lost Max Webb at the age of 101. Max survived multiple labor and concentration camps. He was a builder, a philanthropist, a one-time dance instructor and a remarkably wise and sparkling human being. And I will never forget what he told me almost 20 years ago.

Having moved into a condo, Max one day approached me and asked how the condo was. You know, I told him, I have lived there for almost two years, and there was still so much to do! Max put his hand on my shoulder and looked into my eyes and said, “Listen – Jews are never done.”

So to our friends – and our enemies – all over the world, we say this – we will mourn our dead and defend our rights. Because Jews, as Max taught us, Jews are never done.

(Rabbi David Wolpe is the senior rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.)

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