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Pray for the Russian people!

Friday, 4 March, 2022 - 9:00 am


It’s personal for me.


I have friends and relatives who live throughout eastern Europe including Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, and Poland. The loss of life in Ukraine, the sheer devastation, the number of refugees, is unimaginable. I’ve spoken with a few colleagues on the ground this week and I can’t stop thinking of my brave soul-brothers Avremi Wolff in Odessa and his brother Yossi in Kherson, who with their families are weathering the storm so they can care for those who couldn’t get out, especially the elderly.


It's 2022 and we should be better than this.


In this week’s Torah portion, Pekudei, we read about the inauguration of the Tabernacle. While there were plenty of opportunities for Jews to donate according to their means to build a home for G-d, there was also the half-Shekel gift that each Jew was to contribute for the foundational sockets that held up the entire structure. Each person brought the same amount, it didn’t matter if you were wealthy or poor, well-connected or a Shlepper, from the tribe of Judah or Gad, it was the same amount for everyone. It was a way for us to see every Jew, every person, as an equal valuable life, worthy of all that G-d offers us in our lifetimes.


We know that the people of Ukraine need our prayers; homes have been bombed and too many lives have been upended. Here's a little secret: the Russian people need our prayers too. Sanctions can sound good on paper, but it doesn’t only impact the government and the oligarchs, it affects all the citizens. I spoke to people who don’t have access to their money, to some who do but their money Is now practically worthless, Russian commercial airplanes won’t get parts, which will cause more crashes, and with 144 million citizens, Russia is certain to see enormous increases in hunger and homelessness. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, so let’s pray that our world leaders find ways to punish the aggressors without hurting the beautiful people of Russia.


United against all human suffering, every time, everywhere.


May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Mashiach speedily. May G-d protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!



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