“Why are you crying, Mom?” my 8-year-old asked. We were sitting on the couch eating cereal yesterday morning. I was mindlessly scrolling on my phone, just like every other morning, sipping my lukewarm coffee. But then I saw the news about the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.
It was a bris. The shooter opened fire on a bris. This made the tragedy even more disgusting, if that’s possible: something so sacred and innocent, undermined and ruined. Usually I read about these events with a sense of intellectualized horror. My thinking is abstract: “What can we do? How can this stop? How could they? Who is safe?”
This time, it was visceral. I couldn’t help it; I started to cry, sour tears running down my unwashed face and fogging up my glasses. It was a bris.
Here are some trusted resources to help you and your own children make sense out of these senseless events:
- How to Talk to Kids About Anti-Semitism (JewishBoston, with advice from Rabbi Rachel Silverman at Sharon’s Temple Israel)
Talking to Children About Events in Pittsburgh and Anti-Semitism (InterfaithFamily)
- How to Talk to Children About Anti-Semitism (PJ Library)
- Helping Children Process Acts of Terrorism (ReformJudaism.org)
- Parent Resources: Tragic Events (Fred Rogers)
- Helping Children Cope: Tips for Talking About Tragedy (Mayo Clinic)
- After Terror: 5 Jewish Ways to Help Kids Deal (ReformJudaism.org)
- How to Talk With Kids About Terrible Things (NPR)
- Responding to Hate in America (NFTY)