These past few days have been the most difficult for the Jewish people in the last fifty years. It was the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, a time for rejoicing, yet it was a time of horror. On Saturday morning, Oct. 7, over a thousand people were brutally murdered, more than a hundred were taken hostage, and thousands more were injured. After the Holocaust, we vowed, “Never Again.” Yet, since the Holocaust, we have never lost so many in a single day. And still, the danger continues: the war lies ahead.
The mass terror attack was carried out by barbaric evil forces seeking nothing but to torture and kill Jewish men, women and children and sow terror among Jews everywhere.
Starting with a barrage of thousands of rockets into Israel, raining down on cities as far north as Tel Aviv, terrorists then entered Israel and began the pillage, going from house to house, seeking out civilians and torturing and murdering families, men, women and children. No one was spared, even the elderly and frail were tortured, executed and taken hostage back to the terrorist’s controlled Gaza.
Their intent was to kill Jews. The shock, hurt and grief we feel as a community knowing that across the ocean, our brothers and sisters are being brutally murdered because of nothing more than their being Jewish, is heartbreaking. Americans from across society stand with Israel, stand in solidarity with those in Israel and are coming together in a show of unity. Our city of Coral Gables leadership led by our Mayor, have indicated their unwavering support for Israel and the Jewish community. As a symbolic gesture, the City Hall is being illuminated in blue and white lights in solidarity with Israel.
This attack transcends religious and cultural differences, it is a clear fight between the forces of hatred and evil and those of good and light. The eradication of this evil necessitates society to come together, Jews and non-Jews and fight it.
“Coral Gables stands united with our brothers and sisters in Israel during this harrowing time,” says Rabbi Avraham Stolik, director of Chabad Jewish center in Coral Gables. “We must remember that by illuminating our own corner of the world with acts of goodness and kindness, we can impact events on the other side of the world.”
During past conflicts in the Land of Israel, when things seemed bleak, and during times of danger for the Jewish people, the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, the most influential rabbi in modern history, suggested that we increase in acts of goodness and kindness to elicit G d’s protection.
In this vein, Chabad Coral Gables is spearheading a Mitzvah – Good Deed campaign. This initiative aims to combat hatred and violence with acts of goodness and kindness.
We at Chabad in Coral Gables call upon community members to dedicate positive deeds in memory of those who perished, and to increase in acts of goodness and kindness in the merit of the recovery of those injured, for the safe return of the hostages and for the success of the IDF in protecting the land of Israel and eradicating the evil in its midst.
Recommendations include coming together in unity for prayer, extra charity, lending a helping hand, offering a smile to a neighbor etc. When you do these good deeds, dedicate them to the safety of the citizens in Israel.
Additionally, the Israel Emergency Relief Fund has been established by Chabad-Lubavitch to provide critical support to those affected in Israel. The website is ChabadGables.com/helpisrael. Donations will assist in the humanitarian efforts being carried out by Chabad centers throughout Israel that serve in many places as shelters and crisis centers. Donations can also be made directly to the Israel Defense Forces at fidf.org/IsraelUnderAttack.
“The positive resolutions we undertake must be proportionate to the evil of the terror attack,” adds Rabbi Stolik. “Just as the hate and destruction was so immense, equally, the magnitude of the response to do positive deeds must be that massive.”
For more information about this initiative, please contact Chabad at 305-490-7572 or [email protected]
About Chabad in Coral Gables: Chabad offers Jewish education, outreach and social service programming for families and individuals of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations and was established by emissaries of the Rebbe in 2013.
Rabbi Avraham Stolik
Chabad in the Gables