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Holding onto Humanity

I’ve been sitting at my desk since 3pm today, hands at ready on the keyboard, but I haven’t gotten much done. I’ve mostly been refreshing twitter, checking my email, and holding on for dear life. The Jewish Women’s Archive is located in Boston, a town that has been my home since 2000. It's hard to see your home being hurt. Especially when words like "hard" and home" are far too weak. Today Boston is under attack.

I consider myself a writer, so I tried to do what writers do in times of turmoil—write. I wasn’t sure where to start. I actually dug up an old copy of my senior thesis from my last year at Smith College appropriately titled: The Nature of Suffering, Gd, and Man. I was a precocious Smithie. I attempted to answer the question of why Gd allows for the suffering of good people in a 60-page essay. I wasn’t able to answer the question. Now, almost 10 years later, I’m not any closer.

I don’t know why someone would target our city, or why they would choose to do it on a day when so many are so proud. I don’t know why someone would want to hurt people who were on the verge of achieving something so pure and momentous. I don’t know how to answer people asking if I’m okay.

Here’s what I do know: the worst brings out the best in us.  First responders ran into the smoke to save lives.  The news is carrying stories of marathon runners who finished their race—and then donated blood for those in need.  Bostonians have opened their homes to runners who are stranded. My email has been filled with people asking if I was okay—and some of these emails came from friends and colleagues I haven’t spoken to in years.

My response to today’s events in Boston isn’t coming to you from the Jewish perspective. It’s not coming to you from the feminist perspective. I’m posting these words here on the Jewish Women’s Archive as a member of the greater humanity. Together, despite our differences, despite our struggles, despite times we have clashed in the past, we stand together against hate.

I’m holding onto humanity.

I’m taking a stand, and I’m refusing to give into hate.

Tonight I’m going to think about love.

Tonight I’m going to think about bravery.

Tonight I’m going to think about faith.

I’m going to think about humanity.

It is the only thing we can do.

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It hurts my heart that friends and colleagues in Boston have to live with the terror that so many of us in other cities have also had to experience. Boston was my home years ago. My thoughts go out to not only all directly involved, but the people of that wonderful city.

In the same boat - the unproductive, twitter refreshing boat and the 'choose life and choose humanity' boat. Thanks for posting.

Full image

Image of Boston's Back Bay neighborhood as situated along the tree-lined esplanade of the Charles River.

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How to cite this page

Rozensky, Jordyn. "Holding onto Humanity." 15 April 2013. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on January 19, 2018) <>.


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