May their memories be a blessing.
Posted by: "email@example.com" firstname.lastname@example.org
Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:11 pm (PST)Dear Friends,
We once again find ourselves facing a terrible tragedy.
Our hearts go out to the families of all those people, created in G-d's image, who were murdered and wounded by those who have rejected all semblance of humanity and descended far below the level of the most vicious beast.
Within our own extended Chabad family, after three days of dread and tension, waiting for news, we learned of the fate of the many hostages killed in the Chabad House in Mumbai, India.
The young couple Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg o.b.m. travelled far from their parents’ homes in Israel and Crown Heights. They journeyed to Mumbai not for themselves, but for the sake of others. They came to create a home and center of Jewish life for those Jews who live in, or travel to this corner of the world.
Running a Chabad House anywhere is a difficult task for any young rabbi and wife, but especially so in a place like India, far from every Jewish community. It is difficult to find kosher food, basic necessities of Jewish life, essentials that a young Chassidic couple needs. Nevertheless, they went to India, and managed to build a center and a community for Jewish life there.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe's words, relentlessly positive vision, and his personal example of leadership expressed in a selfless 24/7 dedication to the needs of the Jewish people's and the needs of many beyond the Jewish community - is what inspired these young people and gave them the strength to undertake the demanding task they devoted their lives to.
When events like this happen, we have no way of understanding G-d's thinking or plan. One thing we do need to learn from this is to fight evil, darkness and hatred with good, light and love
On this forum, there are good friends of mine from many backgrounds. To all whom I know: please do an extra act of goodness and kindness to help replace the myriad acts of good and that the Holtzbergs would have done had their lives not been cut so short.
To my fellow Jews on this forum, let us please strengthen our observance of the three pillars of Judaism - Torah, prayer and acts of kindness such as charity.
Suggestions: Each Friday before sundown, all women and girls should make an effort to light Shabbat candles. The power of those candles will light up our lives and hopes and our future.
Men should make an effort to accept the mitzvah of Tefillin. The Talmud teaches us that one of the special qualities of Tefillin is that it creates an awe of us in our enemies by demonstrating that G-d's power rests upon us.
At a time like this, we should also make sure that we have kosher mezuzot on all our doors, both at home and in our workplace. To have your mezuzot checked or to purchase new mezuzot you can be in contact with me.
When G-d sees the Jewish people and indeed - all decent, caring human beings, of all backgrounds translating this tragedy into an increase in spirituality, holiness and observance, we pray He will grant us protection, health, happiness and the era of ultimate redemption, when in the holy words of the Prophets Isaiah and Micah: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more".
May we only share good news from now on.
Rabbi Aaron Hurwitz
052 564 6633
PS In the news I heard just after Shabbos from Mumbai, it appears that the levayas will take place Monday. I will post info as I get it.