None of us should be here, in this place today. Least of all Marsha.
Today should be a day like any other: Marsha should have walked her dog this morning, gone to work, maybe made some phone calls for the Kutz home, perhaps met Marcie or Ethel for lunch, hung out with Scotti, talked to the kids, lit the Hanukah candles tonight.
None of us should be here today. None of us should be feeling that sense of loss, of mourning, of anger burning within us, of deep sadness, of horror, of pity, that grief that reaches out from our depths for Marsha being taken from us.
Yet here we are. And we know what is in our hearts.
In our tradition we speak of an evil so great, so malicious, so horrible that we pray daily that it be blotted out from beneath God’s sight, and those who perpetrate that evil also be blotted out. Marsha’s life is gone. Taken from us by just such an evil, by a person so filled with rage and sickness that his actions even shocked the police. Marsha is gone, taken too soon, leaving us bereft, but also leaving us a legacy of kindness, of compassion, of devotion to her people, to the elderly, to animals, her family, to the world. She leaves us a great love shared by all of us here: those who knew her best, her community, and even the strangers in our midst who felt compelled to share their own grief and sorrow, and support for Scotti and his family.
We are in Chanukah, the festival of lights. Marsha’s light shines on. And may our lights shine with the love and holiness we each carry to illumine the darkness that overwhelms Marsha’s family. May they find comfort, love and support through God’s agents—each one of us. And as we remember Marsha this day, and as their family mourns and grieves, may we help lead them through their darkness back to the light, back to Marsha’s light, that we may bask in her love and her commitment to each of us and each other.