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Home » Miscellaneous

Takking a Stand On Mumbai

Submitted by on December 1, 2008 – 2:07 pmNo Comment | 2,605 views

Good and Evil

Rebecca, the matriarch, was pregnant with twins. The prophet informed her that the twins she was carrying represented two paradigms: good and evil. The two would vie for supremacy. At times evil would prevail and at times righteousness would prevail, but in the end, goodness shall triumph.

The battle was joined three thousand years ago and last Friday another skirmish unfolded. Two groups of youngsters made their way to Mumbai, India: one represented the forces of goodness, the other, the forces of evil. Rabbi Gabi Holtzberg and his wife Rivkah came to Mumbai to spread the warmth and light, the terrorists came to spread mayhem and destruction.  The former came to give generously and selflessly, the latter came to murder and maim. The former came to bestow, the latter, to destroy.

When the terrorists entered Chabad House the forces of evil barged into a sanctum of holiness. They had no idea of how gentle and loving were the souls they would soon cut down. Little did they realize that had circumstances been different they would have been greeted with warm smiles and invited to a home cooked meal. There was no need to take by force what the Holtzbergs would have gladly given with heart. But the terrorists did not seek warmth and light. They sought to extinguish the light.

This was a classic showdown between good and evil; the showdown foretold by the prophets of old and enacted across the generations. In this skirmish, evil prevailed as the prophets foretold would happen at times. But the prophets also promised that, in the end, goodness would triumph and this is where we come in. Goodness will only prevail if we take a stand. Evil has issued a challenge and we must answer the call. Goodness has suffered a setback and we must rise to the occasion. Opting out of this battle is a concession to the wrong side

No Sidelines

We cannot sit on the sidelines and claim that this is not our war because in a war of values there are no sidelines. Rivkah did not conceive triplets; there was no neutral party in her womb. There was good and evil; nothing in between. Between Kosher and Treif there can be no Pareve as Edmond Burke is widely reputed to have said, “For evil to triumph it is only necessary that good men do nothing.”

The value of goodness and righteousness is now poised against that of murder and violence. Today, more than ever, the line between the two has been drawn into sharp focus.  We must respond to these evil acts of terror with an unprecedented campaign of goodness. Only in this way will goodness triumph.

Get Involved

Every community offers multiple venues to opt for goodness and light. Devote time in your busy calendar to adopt and assist an elderly person. Volunteer for your local congregation by helping with youth programs or Kiddush committees. Register for a new Torah class or commit to attend daily prayers at least once a week. Find ways to incorporate more good deeds into your daily life. Whether it is charity or reconciliation, Teffilin or Shabbat candles, acts of goodness and kindness tilt the scales immeasurably toward the side of righteousness and light.

Our world was blanketed by darkness last Friday and it up to us to refill it with light. Let’s go out and do something good. Let’s g out and kindle a light.

Let’s get to work.