Reflections on a Visit to the French Consulate

After hearing about the tragic terror attacks that took place in Paris this past Friday night, I, like most people, was left with a deep sense of grief, fear, and helplessness. What was there to do now? What words can be said to describe this pain? 

Judaism’s practice of shiva visits, visiting the home of mourners, is a cathartic experience for both mourners as well as visitors. I feel deeply grateful to have been provided the opportunity to visit the French Consulate along with Rabbis and communal leaders and to have met with the Consul General. Though the meeting conflicted with two of my classes, I genuinely felt that my education would be lacking if I did not take up with opportunity and offer my condolences. As we sat around in the Consul General's office, much like a shiva call, he reflected on the tragedy that occurred just days ago. Needless to say, the Consul General was at a loss for words. What he was able to express, though, was his deep gratitude for our visit, and the strong bond that his country has with the Jewish people. Rabbi Sarna assured him that we are not only companions in tears, but brothers and sisters in resolve as well. 


Dana Frenkel, Baruch College, 2018

Shalhevet Gabbait