One is Everything: A Meditation on Numbers and Terror

By Alden Solovy


Orlando. 16 June 2016. 49 souls
Kabul. 23 July 2016. 80 souls
Nice. 14 July 2016. 84 souls
Baghdad. 3 July 2016. 325+ souls
Dallas. 7 July 2016. 5 souls
Tel Aviv. 3 July 2016. 4 souls
Saint-√Čtienne-du-Rouvray. 26 July 2016. 1 soul

One soul. A priest, in a church.
Just one soul and the world moves on.
We are shocked by the scale of terror.
The 49 and the 84 and the 325
With a plus sign next to it because, well,
It's just tough to get an accurate count
In so much death.

One is everything.
Each one, a human.
Each one, a life.
One is enough to cry out to heaven.

When we count the scope of terror,
The range of death,
Remember, too,
The injured and the wounded,
The witnesses and the bystanders,
The first responders and the families.

One is 100 witnesses.
One is 1,000 mourners.
One is 10,000 traumas.
One is a soul G-d sent to this earth.
One is everything.
A priest doing holy work.
A boy studying Torah.
A girl sleeping in her bed.
One soul. One heartbeat.
One more, too soon.

God of Consolation,
Every soul is Yours,
A world, unique and holy.
Let Your peace reign quickly among us.
Let violence, hatred and terror vanish.
Let Your comfort descend from heaven,
And let the righteous rest in peace.