May 2019

Fill in the Blank


By Salomon Maya

We are creatures of a disgusting cyclical habit. A plus B equals C and within time back to A again. It’s just basic humanistic math. And we’ve unfortunately achieved a Field’s Medal level of genius when it comes to these types of equations.

Class is in session.

For all of you who a completely confused. Let me give you a real world example. A tragedy occurs (A) which leads to an outpouring of national support and prayer (B) that gives us some momentary action (C). And before we know it. We are back at A (in this case a different tragedy).

Repeat as directed.

So let’s look at this math problem and see what can we do. Let’s be 100% honest with ourselves. We’re not going to avoid “A.” It’s just a constant variable of our humanity. We are designed to destroy. It’s an ugly truth, but a truth nonetheless. You, my reader, might not be a destroyer. But someone you know right now (or even scarier someone you’ve never even met) is planning to destroy right this second.

So since we can’t avoid A…all we can do is look at B and C right? Right. So let’s do that.

An outpouring of support and prayer (and if you don’t pray whatever moment of zen you so choose to follow). That, ladies and gentlemen we’ve got down. We’re good at supporting one another when things go bad. For the most part. In a post 9/11 world we’ve grown accustomed to lending a shoulder to cry on. And some of you beautiful people truly go out of your way to support. You donate blood, clothes, money, etc. when tragedy hits.

So again. We’re good at the B.

Then comes C. Action. After the candles of a tragedy vigil have been blown out, and the flowers on the wreaths float away with the passing winds. What do we do? We forget. It’s human nature unfortunately. Since the end of WWII we’ve never forgotten the atrocities of Nazi Germany, but have we allowed other genocides…yeah we kinda have. After numerous mass shootings have we just become numb to the volume that they’re just as common as going over the 65 MPH on the 805…yeah.

Person 1…go…We don’t have a gun problem! Person 2…go…We have a gun problem! Blah blah blah. We have an us problem. We don’t talk to each other anymore. We yell! We choose sides and don’t waiver. WE TYPE IN CAPS. Some see a red hat and see bigotry and racism. Some see a rainbow flag and see unforgivable sin. Some see snowflakes. Some see privilege. Some see colonizers. Some see marks.

You’re more than likely quick to slap a frame on your social media profile picture saying “I stand with [insert victim here]” and think you’re actually changing something. But you’re not. You’re just shining a light into a black hole. Yelling into a turbine. Throwing a match into a volcano.

And that’s where we currently stand.

The face of antisemitism reached our beautiful city in the form of hate and an assault rifle held by the cowardly hand of a teenager on April 27 we finally read the words which we’ve dreaded to read…shooting at a synagogue (or Jewish community center or school).

So, let’s recap: A (shooting at Chabad Poway) + B (thoughts and prayers) = C (_________________________)

Now it’s your turn to fill in the blank before the test is up. Before the timer goes off. Before we get back to another A.

Class dismissed.


SD Repertory Theatre’s 26th Annual Lipinsky Family Jewish Arts Festival 

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