Friday, November 28, 2008

Sadness and outrage

Things are sad this Friday for a number of reasons.

First of all, five Hasidic Jews were found murdered by the people who took over two hotels, a Jewish center, and some other buildings in Mumbai, which used to called Bombay, India. The  couple who ran the Chabad center, Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivky, were killed, but their child, 2, was rescued by a cook. 

Nearly 200 others were killed, including three more at the Chabad center, in the  massacre that also took place at two hotels frequented by Westerners. At least two Americans are said to be among the dead.

We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving at the home of our daughter and son-in-law, Andrea and Mike, in Amherst, Mass. One of the other guests was a man named Sam, who had lived in Mumbai and knew the Holtzbergs. He said they were warm, giving people who spent their time trying to make the Jews who had to be in Mumbai feel a little less strange. They also worked with the Jewish community in the city that was the financial center of India.

We know the Holtzbergs and the others who died are with God this Shabbos. We hope those who killed them get their just desserts in this life and the next. 

Closer to home, there's the unbelievable story about a man who was killed by a mob who couldn't wait to get into a Wal-Mart on Long Island. They literally broke down the doors in their rush to spend money, and the part-time worker was trampled to death by the mob.

Not only that, but the mob (I don't know of any other word for those people) tried to push aside a group of police officers who were trying to revive the victim in their rush to get a bargain on whatever thing was so important to them. 

Their only just punishment is that whatever it is that they just had to have never works properly, that the recipient of the bloodstained gift doesn't want it and that the store, who should have thrown this mob back into the street but lusted after their money, doesn't stand behind this bloody gift.

Attention, shoppers. If you believe in the teachings of Jesus, what would he say about this scene?

One more note of sadness. Bert Resch was buried this morning. He died Wednesday afternoon after a long series of illnesses, with his father, Sol, by his side.

Bert was a man whom I didn't know well, but instinctively liked. He lived with and took care of his father, who, if not 90 years old, is knocking at the door.

A father should not have to bury a child. Sol is a likable old man who goes to synagogue every day, twice a day, no matter what. 

May God turn the sorrow felt by Sol, his other son, Tom, and family quickly into pleasant memories of their son, brother and uncle.

Have a great weekend. The stock market is up for five days in a row, but we still have a long, long way to go to dig ourselves out of this financial quagmire. 

Again, have a great weekend, and for those in the Tribe, have a great Shabbos.

Until next time...

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