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How are we to live in this world?

09/22/2011

This is not a trifling thing for you: it is your very life.

I ask you. On any given day, someone is rude to you for no good reason. Your mother lays a heavy guilt trip for not calling her since Saturday. A friend asks if they look fat. You wonder whether to ignore someone’s request for help until it’s too late.

And then they execute a man in Georgia, despite mountains of doubt. Fellow human beings inject a possibly innocent man with chemicals of death and he’s gone. Despite the million signatures opposing his execution, despite the lack of physical evidence & the prayer vigils & the Board of Clemency being split, they killed Troy Davis.

Lawrence Brewer was also executed yesterday, for his participation in the racially motivated and horrific death of James Byrd in Texas. And yet, as my friend Cheryl Hyde writes on her blog Execution Day, it’s blindingly difficult to be 100% settled about the death penalty, 100% sure that one man should live and the other die.

How are we to live in this world?

I keep coming back to Torah. About the need for a path in one’s life, the role of consistent principles and time-tested wisdom.  If you are a loyal reader you’ve witnessed my wrestling with the text. My outright disagreement and disgust. In the world of the Torah, one or both of these men might have been stoned.

Still.

Life is not a trifling thing. I feel like I could use all the help I can get.

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