The Message of Poway.
By Rabbi Chanan Krivisky - MiYaD
(as printed in Syosset-Jericho Tribune)
We are STRONG. We are UNITED. They CAN’T BREAK US! AM YISROEL CHAI - THE JEWISH PEOPLE LIVE! – Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Rabbi @ Chabad of Poway to his congregation after being shot in both hands.
As has been splashed across the headlines throughout the world, on Shabbat, the Last (eighth) Day of Passover, a terrorist gunman shot at the Rabbi, congregants and their children at Chabad of Poway, CA, killing one and injuring 3, including an 8 year-old girl.
We grapple for answers, for consolation, for healing. We try to make sense of another attack on that which is good and those who pray for peace. Yet, there is no logical explanation for such horrific events.
So what can we do? What can we learn? Where do we go from here?
“The message from Poway is reaching millions”, Rabbi Goldstein has tirelessly repeatedly stated to every media platform that will listen, even though he was just brutally shot protecting his congregation.
What is the message?
It’s not the one you might think.
It is clear that we should not allow ourselves to be negatively affected by such trials and tribulations, as terrible as they may be.
But the real battle cry is to be a protagonist for goodness and kindness even in the face of pure evil. Yes, especially when our core is shaken and our places of sanctity violated, we need to be luminaries.
“A little light pushes away a lot of darkness”, is an oft-quoted maxim of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, leader of the Chabad movement who professes and teaches life motivated by unconditional love. Think, if now, we collectively shine a lot of light.
Spreading the message of light prevailing over darkness is a life-work, a raison d’etre for Rabbi Goldstein, and every Chabad Rabbi and Rebbetzin who has picked up the Rebbe’s charge. Now is a time where this message is not just a solace for those seeking meaning in these terrible events, but rather a call-to-action.
Each one of us – Jewish or not – men, women and children must find a corner of our world, and area of our lives, that is perhaps untouched by light and illuminate it.
Whether it be within ourselves, our homes, our workplace, our community – in whichever sphere we have influence, it is up to us to be a champion of what is right, an advocate for goodness and a messenger of kindness. You can change the world for good, which is why you have been created and placed here in this time, now.
Our Mitzvahs – good deeds and unity – should be fulfilled with joy and vitality.
It is my sincere hope that with the help of G‑d, Who guards with an open eye and oversees with Divine Providence, that we will overpower every obstacle, strengthen both personal and communal affairs and expand all of our activities of goodness and kindness in both quantity and quality.
This is the message of Poway.
See you on Shabbat!!
Minyan, Saturday 10:00am @ Chabad House in Jericho, followed by Kiddush Lunch in memory of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, Leah bas Reuven and complete healing of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Noya Dahan and Almog Peretz.