by Rabbi Zolly Claman
(Edmonton) – We had such a beautiful Pesach together but dampened so quickly with the news that we were met with after Havdalla last week. Exactly 6 months after the Pittsburgh shooting, to the day, he whose name deserves no mention entered the Chabad house in Poway and took the life of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, Leah Bat Re’uven, a pure soul that we now no longer have with us.
He wounded Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Almog Peretz and his 8 year old niece Noya Dahan. May they all have a speedy recovery.
As a response to those who want to deter us, we are embracing two initiatives this weekend.
The first is called “Light for Lori”. This Friday, May the 3rd, Jewish women all over the world will light their Shabbat Candles. Lori Gilbert-Kaye will not. Can you light a candle for Lori? The initiative calls on all women to light Shabbat candles this week. To light them with a special and added intention. As you wave your hands over the candles have in mind that the pure soul of Leah Bat Re’uven should be uplifted. It was a mitzvah that was dear to her and she was dear to us – let’s have her in mind.
The second initiative is called “11:23”. The Poway attacker entered the Chabad Shul and began shooting at 11:23 AM last Shabbat. Accordingly, congregations around North America will stop services and mark it with a moment of meaning to combat this dark ideology of anti-Semitism by bringing more light into the world.
There is teaching that “Me’at or do’che harbe choshech”, that even a small amount of light can push away a lot of darkness. Imagine the power one match has in a dark room. Light the candles in Lori’s memory and come to Shul. Let’s fight darkness with light
May we share in happiness and joy – Shabbat Shalom,
Zolly Claman is the Rabbi at Beth Israel Synagogue – the family shul – in Edmonton Alberta.