Hamptons Cottages & Gardens Celebrates Its Founder, Richard Ekstract As It Turns 20 Years Old. Richard, a well respected art collector, is also the greatest publisher of consumer electronics, licensing, and real estate publications. He is 91 and lives in Palm Beach and NYC with his devoted wife Eileen. Richard and I are working on his memoirs together.
We Need Acts Of Loving Kindness
July 10, 2022, #3 Weekly Newsletter
We Need Acts Of Loving Kindness
My Wife Will Never Again Be Able To Say She Is From Highland Park Without People Thinking: “Mass Murder”
My wife Valerie grew up in a lovely, upscale suburb of Chicago. I have visited it many times. It has a world-class summer Music festival; it also offers top quality dining and entertainment as well as one of the best High schools in the nation. My wife was always proud to say she was from Highland Park. Now everyone knows it as the place where an atrocity took place on the 4th of July.
Valerie was deeply shaken that her safe, beautiful hometown was the scene of a mass shooting. It hit home even more since she graduated in the same class as the father of the perpetrator. She could have been there. Our children could have been there. Thank G-d her family and friends are safe, but now there is an entire town that isn’t. There are thousands of people in mourning, thousands praying for the welfare of the wounded and thousands who will suffer from PTSD. How can you happily stroll in the street after witnessing such horror? My wife will never again be able to say she is from Highland Park without people thinking: “Mass Murder”.
All this because of one person. This isn’t a political rant – enough people do that. But it is beyond my understanding that a 22-year-old with emotional issues has access to a semi-automatic weapon of mass murder. One person can bring so much grief, despair, pain. What can – or what should – be our spiritual response to that?
If one person has the power to bring so much darkness into our world, then we in turn have as much power to bring Light. In a situation such as this, it isn’t enough to say that we have the potential to bring Light; we are mandated to bring Light. We absolutely must overcompensate this darkness. Even small random acts of loving-kindness have unbelievable power to bring much needed holiness. We can all spare that dollar someone is begging for in the street (I always bring dollars with me for that purpose), we can all be kind to the person at the cash register, we can all say that word that will make someone feel good. These examples seem insignificant, but don’t be fooled, their ripple effect – like the butterfly effect – creates a tsunami of Light.
Let me quote what the Dalai Lama said in a video on his birthday this week: “The best gift for me, on my birthday… please keep your own mind, your own heart more compassionate… seriously and genuinely (have a) sense of concern of other’s well-being”. Our world will be the most beautiful place in the universe when enough people put their mind into following this simple advice.
Rabbi Marc Philippe
Marc Philippe is the rabbi at Kodesh House, a grassroots Jewish organization for spirituality, healing, connection and inclusion.
He offers a new and progressive space for people to get in touch with their roots. It is a place to learn, play, grow, transform and experiment while discovering and exploring the wisdom and spirituality of Judaism.
Rabbi Marc Philippe, besides being vegetarian, is also a professional musician, hypnotist, Kabbalist and Yoga enthusiast.