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one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

Wednesday, 31 October, 2018 - 9:22 pm

I couldn't speak and I couldn't stay silent after Shabbos. I therefore wrote something short as a Facebook post.

‘This afternoon, a community member came to our home to tell us about the tragedy in Pittsburgh.
Shabbos ends, and I have a text to discuss shul security.
I got a call from a local clergy letting us know if we need any support they will be there for us and the community.
I was raised to respond to darkness with light, to respond to evil with good.
Find a random act of goodness and kindness that you can do,
Heck, find 11 acts of goodness and kindness that you can do. Help someone, reach out to someone who may be lonely, make a contribution to a worthy cause.
Every act of kindness makes the world a place of light a place of love and a better place for all of us to live!
Post your act(s) of kindness in the comments’

Responding to calls from community members and leaders of all faiths showing their care and concern, we guided them to do acts of kindness as opposed to bringing flowers.

We met with locals who are security experts, and have been in touch with law enforcement, to ensure additional safety at Chabad.

On the spiritual front, Rabbis in Pittsburgh started a mezuzah campaign to check your mezuzah or to put one up if you do not have one. Their goal: to reach at least 1,100 doorways – corresponding to our 11 brothers and sisters who were massacred in cold blood in Pittsburgh. Let me know how you can be counted to join the campaign.

In this week's Parsha, we read how Abraham describes G-d not only as the G-d of the heavens, but also as the G-d of the earth. How did He suddenly become also the G-d of the earth? Because of the many small steps Abraham took to change the perception of the world to include monotheistic teaching.

How does a piece of parchment and a bunch of disparate letters become a mezuzah? Through a scribe writing the letters properly and in the right order so that they create the correct words, ultimately completing the message of the Shema that hangs rolled up on your doorpost.

To make the world a more holy place, it will take more than a one-time act. However, many small acts are what will make the difference.  

  • Consider checking your mezuzah or adding a new one to your home.
  • Consider coming to a Torah class.
  • Consider adding a pushka, charity box, to your home and giving a coin, or a few, every day (excl. shabbat and holidays).
  • Consider coming to services more often.

Avraham changed the world one mitzvah at a time; we can add light into the world one mitzvah at a time.

Have a great shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

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