I usually like to write about funny moments in life or the importance of putting humor to the not-so-funny moments.
However, today is a day of mourning in Mumbai, India, and around the world. We must realize that in 2008 we are still "under fire" as a people. Whether you are chabad"nik", secular, reformed, conservative, it means nothing at times like this.
We are all Jews and we need to come together because I can guarantee you that the terrorists who killed the innocent Chabad rabbi and his wife in India yesterday, while leaving their son orphaned, see no difference. A Jew is a Jew to them, and they want us all dead. The only "weapons" the rabbi and his wife were "armed" with were their love of Judaism, people, and education and their dedication to Torah and to Chesed.
We have to pray, be stronger than ever, not judge each other and be positive that justice will come to those who are evil.
Good will continue and Chabad will step up its efforts even more now, in light of this terrible tragedy.
I have had the good fortune of being involved with Chabad for many years now, whether it was to help my friend bury her uncle when he had no family nearby and lived alone in the most remote part of Maine or introducing my father to Chabad of Kings Highway in Brooklyn so he wouldnt be alone on Shabbat, to the "word of mouth" promoting of Chabad that I do whenever I see someone unaffiliated or lost.
Chabad helped me when I was going through a very difficult time in my life a few years ago. At this time of great anxiety when much was piled upon me (loss of a close aunt, losing my job and still not having that significant other I dreamed of) I felt continuous anxiety and fraility. A Chabad rabbi said to me, "it was not my BODY which was in anxiety, it was my SOUL.’ Something was missing and I needed to find out what it was so that I could go back to being the happy productive person I was. I learned how to take soul-filled small steps in order to regain my stability.
Chabad is everywhere and always there: from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to Raleigh, North Carolina, to Mumbai, India. Many who do not understand Chabad question their need to go to such remote and often unsafe regions of the world. This is their mission, and they will continue to carry out this mission in the glorious way which they do each day. Let us all do at least one mitzvah today and women please light a shabbos candle(s).
May Rabbi and Rebbetzen Holtzberg’s memory be a blessing, may their work continue through others and one day through their beautiful baby boy, Moshe…