Our hearts are with the Boston community!


Dear Friends,

As difficult as it may be to have endured the week, witnessing such unwarranted bloodthirsty terror, it is even more difficult to try to make sense of a painful, heartbreaking situation. While we offer prayers for all the police officers and citizens of Massachusetts, we cannot help but question if we would have the strength to face such horror in our own lives. Random images flit through our minds:  the maimed, the wounded, the stunned, the little boy just my son's age whose parents will never see him again. Among the many who were injured, there were many who stepped up to help. 

Stories have emerged of individuals who risked danger to lift the fallen and injured away from the bomb site and carry them to safety. Daniel Conley; District Attorney to Boston commented regarding these acts of heroism:

“That’s what we Americans do. In times of crisis we come together and help one another. Moment like these as terrible as they are show our strengths not our weaknesses.”

 For me, the first image released on Wednesday said it all:  in that split second only two categories existed — the victims and those who helped them.    The persons doing neither, are suspected to be the evil monsters who perpetrated this dreadful deed.

This week we read about the Mitzvah that helped the FBI identity the suspect, "Do not stand on your brother's blood", which Rashi interprets  as "when you are able to help him".  In its very literal meaning, the Mitzvah is that if you see someone in danger and you are able to help him, you have an obligation to do so —you cannot stand by and watch.

Passersby running with terribly wounded people to take them for medical help and care for them in the face of chaos.

When I studied this with friends during the week, the point seemed somewhat unsettling:  you're obligated to help others even though you may be putting your own life in danger? But by Wednesday afternoon I had my answer. In such a moment, even when you know that after a first and a second bomb there may very well be a third, there's no middle path - either you need help, or you're giving help (or as we saw in many heroic cases, you're doing both).

While I pray to G‑d that I should never have to replicate the heroism of all those others who could not "stand on their brother's blood", I do hope that in my everyday experiences, wherever and whenever I can help someone else, even when I may be putting myself in harm's way, I will do that. Sometimes it's for someone whose life is real physical danger in a hospital, or other times it's someone who is in emotional danger, and our spending an hour with them, might make a life and death difference - and don't think that's an exaggeration.

Our message to Boston might well be: Keep Running Boston - we're all running with you, and towards you. We are all Boston Fans!

In the memory of those taken from us in Boston and Texas and in the merit of an immediate recovery to those injured, do an extra act of kindness, give some charity, light Shabbat candles and bring more light into this world.

Wishing you a Shabbat of running to help another,


Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos


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