Seeking Solace at The Ohel

Less than two weeks ago my mom called me with sad news while I was stuck on a late bus ride back from a gig in Washington DC. My uncle Beno- my dad's elder brother and, to me, a real life Indiana Jones- was killed in a motorcycle accident in Colombia. Devastating. No words....
I had been planning on visiting The Ohel, the Queens, NY resting place of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the late leader of the Lubavitch-Chabad movement. I pushed through the sadness and went, and instead of focusing on the external the photographic process became a way of connecting with something greater than myself, a way to surrender and join thousands in mourning. One man explained the reason we say Kaddish, a Jewish prayer of mourning. The words don't mention death, sadness or loss. They only mention God's omnipotence and wisdom over and over in different words. The idea of saying kaddish, as well as coming to pay respects at the Rebbe's gravesite, is that we as humans can't fathom the reasons for life or death, the Truth. But we can "shake hands" with holiness, and accept that those who have moved on now are with God and know truth, and peace.

and here I am, taking advantage of the opportunity to put on tefillin, and say kaddish for my recently deceased uncle.