Night descends on the globe
Night descends on the globeiStock

“One life, you got to do what you should

One life with each other

Sisters, brothers

One life, but we’re not the same

We get to carry each other, carry each other



(One- U2)

The night is dark. Black against black. I search the sky for the white glimmer of a star, but fail to find it. Even the moon tonight seems to have gone into hiding. From my view I hear the occasional passing whir of a lone car. But otherwise, silence. Absence of noise. Echoing the absence of light. Was it only a few hours ago that the sun shone?

I remember these silences from when I was a child. The silence of my father. The audible silence that was but a veil for agony and despair. My father did not then speak of his family, of those who were killed during The War. Of a mother, of sisters, of cousins, of aunts and uncles. Of a wife and a child. The visible absence. We, the children of the New World, were born into a world of nightmare, hints of memories, allusions to tragedy and pain. The cries of those whose cries we could not hear echoed within us. The whispers of stories not told, of horrors too great to speak of.

But we were comforted somehow by the concept of Never Again. We had the notion, the dream, that this nightmarish tragedy, incomprehensible in its cruelty and scope, somehow would alter the fate of mankind. Mankind had learned a lesson. And we, the Second Generation, took it on as our legacy. The empathy, the caring, the challenge that this will Never happen Again. The process of life itself, in its forward-going motion towards growth and understanding, will incorporate the past and create a better future.

But does man have the ability to change the Nature of Man? Apparently, human nature does not change. It reappears in every generation in a different form. Man’s inhumanity to man. Man has the strange ability to confuse cruelty with virtuous ideology.

At this moment, somewhere in the world, is the occurrence of barbarity, simple cruelty and betrayal. With a knowledge that life could, should be different. But as human nature does not change, apparently neither does human ineptitude in the face of tragedy and confusion. We cannot claim ignorance. We can only claim perhaps that we as individuals, are powerless.

And we are left with sleepless nights which are ineffectual. With the power to do…. what?

Our mortal minds cannot comprehend. We turn our gaze upwards.

He says, Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted upon the earth.” (Psalm 46:11)

One day, the world will be different. Redeemed.

And until that day.

What can we do to make the world a better place, a place of kindness and tranquility, where only the voice of the Divine is heard in the silence. Where the light of the Divine overshadows the oppressive darkness.

What is our role today, as partners to God in creating a world of peace and understanding?

Dr. Devorah Ungar is an American-born scientist and musician.who moved to Israel 30 years ago.