Saturday’s bombing in Pune, India. left nine dead, 57 wounded, and millions with intensified fears and hatred. Based on the messages flooding my in box since the attack, the race to spin the story seems almost as intense as the hunt for the terrorists who committed the crime.
I awoke following the bombing, to people who are certain that it was “really” an attack on the nearby Chabad House — because it’s all about hating Jews. Of course, there are others who are just as sure that the Osho Ashram was the intended target – the work of Hindu extremists.
There are those who are already to spread the word that this was the work of the same Muslim murderers who bombed Mumbai last year. They base their claim on the fact that both locations were scouted out by now-imprisoned David Headley, before the previous attacks by Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan based terror group.
While appreciating that most of us will initially gravitate to any story which confirms our pre-existing notions of who the bad guys “really” are, I suggest that we not forget the victims in our rush to identify the perpetrators. The truth is that our prayers and good wishes to those in need of them are likely to be the more significant of the contributions that those of us not in law enforcement or intelligence can make.
For starters, I share with you the most recent list of the dead. It is taken from the Hindustan Times. As soon as I have located a list of the wounded, I will post that as well.
I suggest that we all take a few moments, in silence or with words, whether one believes in God or not, to offer a prayer for these innocent victims who were murdered simply for being at the bakery which hate-filled murderers chose as their target. We can also pray for their families, the wounded and their families as well. My own prayer is rooted in the Kaddish (Jewish prayer for mourners), Jewish mourning rituals, and also in the traditional prayer for those who are sick.
I pray that my/our sense of the sacred, of God’s presence in the world, which has been diminished by this attack and the suffering it brought, be restored. I pray that the mourners find a place of comfort as they confront the loss of those they love, that the souls of the departed know peace, that the wounded are healed, and that their families find strength as they participate in that healing process. May the One who grants peace, bring peace to each of them and to each of us.