Friday, November 28, 2008

Tragedy and hope.

I am completely devastated to hear that Rabbi Gavriel and Rebbetzin Rivka Holtzberg have been killed in the terrorist attacks on Mumbai, India this week. I prayed and waited, watching the news as their 2-year-old son was released with blood-soaked pants from the compound. I watched as two rabbis were let go. And then I watched as they said that the building had been targeted and that Israelis and Americans were being held inside with the rabbi and his wife. And then, today, I watched as their obituaries were released on the internet. The tragedy in its entirety was senseless and stupid. Nearly 200 people have died, hundreds have been injured. Fires blazed, gunshots rang out, and blood soaked the streets. I cannot fathom what the chaos was like, or how incredibly painful the battle was for those who died. But I do know that the Holtzbergs were doing one of the most wonderful things with their life when those lives were taken from them at such young ages (neither was even 30). Jewish outreach is perhaps the greatest thing about Chabad. They place "houses" all over the world so that no matter what corner of the earth you trek to, you can always find your Jewish brothers and sisters, and in a community so small, it is so important to the Jewish people. Thus, this occurrence and loss is devastating and incredibly troubling.

Thus, it is with the tragedy, that I was reading a little pamphlet on Shabbat I got from the Chabad Lubavitch store in West Orange yesterday while buying some books and goodies that I came across the number one reason for women to light Shabbat candles: To add light to a dark world. And right now? The world is a very dark place. I then heard, via Twitter, that the rabbi who was giving the teleconference today about the incident that he said that all Jewish women should light Shabbos candles tonight -- we MUST bring light into the world. And it is as such, that I suggest every last person who reads this thread light Shabbos candles tonight.

Bring light into this dark, dark world. Do your part!

And, it is with these few remarks, that I wish you all a Good Shabbos. May you reflect on the world's darkness and change it in a way that will create waves of light.

(On a lighter note, I'm incredibly amused that the White House sent out a "Merry Hanukkah" card to invite people to a Chanukah reception. The funny thing? There's nothing Chanukah-like about it. It's a horse-drawn carriage pulling up to the White House carrying a Christmas tree on the cart it's pulling. I mean, seriously. Sure, it's nice that they're spreading out their arms to welcome ye olde Jews, but at the same time ... taste should be thought about, no? Never fear, though, the Orthodox Union is defending the card . Which, I'll be honest, seems kinda laughable as well.)