Sunday, July 12, 2020

Letter: In wake of Pittsburgh shooting, light will dispel dark

A table from Chabad at MSU at the Union where people can write a good deed to bring more light into the world. Photo courtesy of Benzion Shemtov.
A table from Chabad at MSU at the Union where people can write a good deed to bring more light into the world. Photo courtesy of Benzion Shemtov. —

By Rabbi Bentzion Shemtov and supported by Simi Shemtov  

Bentzion is the rabbi and co-director and Simi is a co-director at Chabad Student Center at MSU.


Dear MSU Community, 

Our hearts are shattered by the heinous and horrific attack on our brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh. We mourn the 11 holy souls who were so cruelly torn from our midst, pray to G-d to provide strength and comfort to their shocked and grieving families and pray for the speedy recovery of those who are injured. Their unfathomable pain is shared by the entire Jewish people, our MSU community and all people worldwide.

As they stood in prayer and celebrated a new life entering into our world, 11 lives were suddenly taken from us, leaving families broken with a gaping, painful emptiness.

An attack anywhere is an attack on everywhere.

The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, taught of the need to turn tears into action. Beneath the surface of every terrible experience there lies the opportunity to grow and increase in goodness. Every step back can — and must — become the impetus for a giant leap forward.

At this difficult time, let us take courage from the age-old Jewish adage: “A little bit of light will dispel a great deal of darkness.” It is an indisputable reality: When light and goodness encounter darkness and hate, light and goodness will — without fail — prevail.

Let’s each dedicate our lives a little bit more to goodness and kindness, to true and boundless love of our fellow. To take on one additional mitzvah (good deed), so that each and every one of us, in our own way, creates a personal space of love and holiness.

In the merit of our collective good deeds, may we each bring comfort and peace at this extraordinarily challenging time.

If there is any way we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch—that’s why we’re here. We are always available to talk, listen and to be of support.

With deep pain, endless love and fierce determination.

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