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In the Wake of Sandy, Think of Others

Malibu Rabbi Levi Cunin reflects on the destruction of Superstorm Sandy on the East Coast.

Recently, I read a Chassidic anecdote regarding a man, Mr. A., who was traveling on a ship with a group of other people. Mr. A. had his own private room on the lower deck. One day a fellow shipmate, Mr. B., walked into Mr. A’s room and was shocked to find him drilling a hole right in the center of the room; the water was beginning to gush in.

"Are you nuts?!" asked Mr. B. "What in the world are you doing?"

"Look, this is my room," replied Mr. A. "if you don’t like what you see, then you are welcome to leave my room"

Mr. B., was quick to remind his friend that true, this was Mr. A's room, but the hole that he was drilling was placing the whole ship and everyone on board in danger.
 
This past week's colossal storm, Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East coast, with winds and waves that have been described as a storm of “Biblical” proportions. It has wreaked havoc on millions of Americans. This devastating storm pummeled and walloped homes, businesses and other structures with its winds, while churning rivers of water through entire towns and cities. 

Thousands of our fellow citizens have been left without a place to call home. This is a good time to be reminded that we are all on one ship and that when it comes to certain events, our focus as a people must be about the importance of community. It is crucial that each and every community looks out for each other making sure that we are there for those who are in need.

In the aftermath of this great storm, there are immediate needs. In the comfort of living thousands of miles away, with the benefit of running water and working electricity, it is easy for some to become apathetic. After all, so many people today struggle with their own worries, and their own financial headaches. Yet, it is precisely in times like these, when many of our fellow citizens have no where to turn as they try to pump water out of their home and provide basic shelter for their frightened and traumatized families, we must be reminded that we are all on one ship.

Every small act of goodness and kindness is significant and truly helps.

Many of my Chabad colleagues are working around the clock, providing meals and temporary living quarters, organizing volunteers and seeking out those in need. Many of them are struggling themselves, having lost their own home and possessions. There are many reputable organizations that are on the ground making sure that the basic needs of those left out in the cold are being met, they can all use more help in helping so many others.

Thus said the great sage Hillel: "If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?" - Avot 1:13

If you would like to join Chabad of Malibu’s efforts to help those who are suffering due to hurricane ‘Sandy’, please click here. Be sure to earmark your donation for the relief effort. Thank you!

Shabbat Shalom!

Bob Perkins DDS November 03, 2012 at 04:59 PM
so true, Rabbi. Helping others and making those connections with others is the business of life. We need to think "big" and not just focus on our own micro-world...at least, those are my opinions.

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