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Peace, inshallah!

Friday, 15 March, 2019 - 8:23 am

Last night, just before heading to bed, my friend Yankel tweeted something about a shooting attack at a mosque in New Zealand. It was heartbreaking to learn this morning that forty-nine Muslim worshipers at two mosques were targeted for annihilation for simply choosing to pray to G-d. Does anyone really believe that terror like this, inflicted on men, women and children, is going to make the world a better place? Whether it’s in Israel against Jews, Iraq against Christians, India against Buddhists or in New Zealand against Muslims, we must never remain silent when pure evil, Amalek-style hatred, proliferates in our midst.    

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayikra, the first in the book of Leviticus, we read about the communal sin offering. While in the literal sense it refers to a case in which the Sanhedrin, the Jewish supreme court, errs in judgment and as a result all of Jewry sins, figuratively, it’s a reminder that at times we must be collectively honest, digging deep into our souls, asking ourselves how we got here? Did we contribute in any way to this communal sin? Just last week I heard one of my kids joking about an Arab name they thought was funny and I immediately reminded them that “people think our names sound weird too, but you wouldn’t want them to make fun of us”. As a community, we must join to remove hate ideology. Before we open our mouths, we must ask ourselves whether what we are about to say will bring people together, shine a positive light on the person/community of which we speak and if not, make the righteous choice of keeping our mouths shut.

Muslims are certainly frightened today. Like Jews in Pittsburgh, Catholics in the Philippines and Sikhs in Wisconsin, Muslims are hurt and rightfully so. I am at the forefront of condemning Islamic terrorism and love Israel and its people with every fiber of my being, but that doesn’t mean we can sit back and ignore the atrocities done to innocent Muslims in Myanmar, China or New Zealand. I am raising my children to respect every human being, it’s not easy, but I give it all I’ve got, please join me in doing the same. In the words of Albert Einstein “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it”. 

May peace reign soon, inshallah!

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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