I visited the Tree of Life Synagogue website this morning and found this July 18 blog post:

We Deserve Better
by Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

Current news recycles at a dizzying pace, with the important topic of yesterday buried beneath the freshest catch of the day.  The television talking heads pick over each and every juicy tidbit like vultures over carrion.  Just when you thought they were done, they find more.  Remember the Thai soccer team rescue?  Old news.  The push by the students from Parkland, Florida to enact safer schools? Now that schools are closed for the summer, apparently school safety is not important, as shooters are finding other valuable sites.

Oh, Rabbi Myers, my heart aches for you and your congregation.

Yesterday’s shootings have put me over the top in terms of how much sadness I feel like I can process. With all of the violence and tragedy happening around us, why this incident? Maybe it’s because my daughter is a Jewish Studies major. Maybe it’s because I’m visiting Israel next month. Maybe it’s because enough is enough. I’m not going to figure that out, so I’m trying to sit with it and let myself feel the sadness.

My heart literally hurts. My chest is tight. I’m sick to my stomach.

And, I’m not giving up. Today, I’m replacing external negative messages with healing sights, sounds and smells. I’m sitting quietly, surrounded by photos of my loved ones. I’m cooking cloves and cinnamon on my stove because that’s a smell that comforts me. And, I’m filling my house with the vibration of Durga Mantra (link is below.)

Do you have the resources you need to help you process? Please reach out to your support network today and, if you don’t feel like you have what you need, email me so I can help you find something.

About Durga Mantra

Durga mantra is a Hindu devotional hymn or chant dedicated to the goddess, Durga, a powerful deity who is known as the mother of creation or, simply, the mother goddess. Hindus believe Durga protects them from the evil in the world and removes their sufferings.

This is one of the simplest of the Durga mantras,“Om Dum Durgayei Namaha.” The translation from the Sanskrit is: “Salutations to the feminine energy that protects from all negative influences.” Each word in the mantra has significance:

  • Om is a spiritual sound representing the universe, or Brahman, that is the essence of all creation. It is typically recited at the beginning and end of all Hindu prayers and is frequently chanted during yoga practice.
  • Dum is the sound representing the energy of Durga herself.
  • Durgayei is the formal Sanskrit pronunciation of the goddess’ name.
  • Namaha is difficult to translate literally, but its meanings include “it is not mine” and “in your essence, we bow to you.”