23 February 2002

Pondering, this Shabbes night, Daniel Pearl’s last moments. According to those who have seen the tape, his last words were: I am a Jew. Then they slit this throat. Then they decapitated him. Leaving aside the fury I’m feeling at these creatures, these animals — and I’d like to — I’m thinking of a prayer from the Conservative siddur:

I am a Jew because my faith demands no abdication of the mind.
I am a Jew because my faith demands all the devotion of my heart.
I am a Jew because wherever there is suffering, the Jew weeps.
I am a Jew because wherever there is despair, the Jew hopes.
I am a Jew because the message of our faith is the oldest and the newest.
I am a Jew because the promise of our faith is a universal promise.
I am a Jew because for the Jew the world is not completed; people must complete it.
I am a Jew because for the Jew humanity is not fully created; people must complete it.
I am a Jew because the faith of the people Israel places humanity above nations, above Judaism itself.
I am a Jew because the faith of the people Israel places above humanity, image of the divine, the Oneness of God.

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23 February 2002

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