October 27, 2020

Today marks the second anniversary of the horrific shooting that took place at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. This was the most violent attack on Jews in American history. Eleven innocent people who were at the synagogue to celebrate Shabbat were murdered, while six others were injured by an assailant who espoused on social media his complete hatred for Jews and other minorities. The attack is a reminder that hatred and antisemitism are real and when left unchecked, can often transition into physical violence. Today we remember: Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal, husband and wife Sylvan and Bernice Simon, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, and Irving Younger.


Take a moment today to remember these individuals who were killed by watching this memorial video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEuWsZBPxfQ 


Sadly, according to the experts, it appears, we are entering into a massive 2nd wave of COVID-19. I know I didn’t imagine that we would still be dealing with this when it began back in March. All we can do is continue to follow CDC and public health guidelines and hope that by doing so we will not be a spreader or get infected. It is what as individuals we can do.


The same is true when we are confronted by otherworldly “events” that are too big for any one person to tackle. However, by taking our “job or role” seriously, we can and do make a difference. There is an old Chinese proverb that says something to the effect of the way to eat an elephant is to take lots of small bites.


In essence, when confronted with what feels like something too large to tackle, it requires us to take lots of small, well-intended steps to overcome it. And when we do it together, not only does it make the job feel a bit easier, but we are reminded that we are not alone; there are others next to us trying to accomplish the same goal.


I know that we are all experiencing some sort of fatigue, but this is when we need to dig down and double down our efforts. It is going to start getting dark earlier, starting this Sunday, and eventually, the weather is going to start cooling down. With this change, some people are going to once again feel more isolated. This is when we need to take the time to reach out and check on someone you have not been able to connect with as of late and see how they are doing. Maybe find someone you can do something nice for, like cook them a meal, drop off cookies or flowers, even just mail them a Thinking of You card. I can assure you that whatever you do will be appreciated. And you will feel good knowing you helped make their day. It is small acts like these that will help us get through the dark days we are about to be confronted with.


Commit to doing something this week… even just one thing to help bring a smile or connect with someone. Together, we can help our community "eat that elephant."


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