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Vote with your feet!

Thursday, 1 November, 2018 - 10:23 pm

Twenty-four hours after the Pittsburgh Massacre, after speaking at the local memorial gathering, I tried chatting with Chaya and Zeesy about it. I’m not sure they understood the severity of the tragedy, the way I hoped they would’ve, but I’m guessing this is normal for children their age. An hour later Zeesy asked me “Why would that person want to hurt other people?”. So innocent, so pure, so raw, yet all I was able to say was “Zisha, there are bad people in the world, really bad; we have to be, and do, good”. She agreed, as she listed off a bunch of good things she thinks we can do for the betterment of the world.  

Am Yisroel is broken; we are all seeking comfort.

In this week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, we read of Eliezer’s courtship of Rebecca as a wife for Isaac, son of his master Abraham. After their initial meet-and-greet, we are told “ And Isaac brought her to the tent of Sarah his mother, and he took Rebecca, and she became his wife, and he loved her. And Isaac was comforted for the loss of his mother. ” Isaac, who mourned for three years after Sarah’s untimely death, finally begins to find comfort, not only because he found a soulmate, but because she brought all of Sarah’s unique blessings back to life. When Sarah was alive there were three constant miracles: 1) A candle burned from one Shabbat eve to the next. 2) A blessing was found in the dough that she’d use for baking. 3) A cloud was attached to the roof of the tent. When she passed away, these things ceased, and when Rebecca arrived, they resumed.

Pittsburgh will never be the same, the families of those murdered will mourn forever and we don’t know how much grieving time the Jewish community will need, but we do know that we will find comfort and move forward. Isaac found comfort in continuity, knowing that the traditions of his beloved mother carried on and will be passed on to his future children. Joyce, Richard, Rose, Jerry, Cecil, David, Bernice, Sylvan, Daniel, Melvin and Irving died while praying in Shul on Shabbat, they voted with their feet and were not only devoted Jews in thought and speech, but in action. We can honor their legacy by making that our tradition too. 5K’s, skiing, hiking, sleeping, chilling are all important activities, but let’s follow in their sacred footsteps and, in their honor, make Shabbat morning in Shul a weekly activity, starting from tomorrow morning. 


Vote for Shabbat; endorsed by eleven sanctified souls!


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

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