May 18, 2024
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May 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

We walked into Costco as we usually do. We went to Trader Joe’s to buy our Shabbat flowers. We walked in the mall on a rainy, hot day for a cooler experience and to have some exercise. At no time did we consider the fact that maybe we would not be returning to our car due to the unexpected volatile behavior of a sick maniacal individual. However, in the aftermath of the horrendous shootings last weekend, we all have to realize that we never know what could happen in just a split second. Should we be rethinking how we live our lives? Is it time to say no to our 12-year-olds who need a ride to the mall to hang out with their friends? Should we be curtailing children’s activities in Dave and Buster’s or even Chuck E Cheese? Resoundingly, we have to say no. We cannot stop living as a result of the horrendous behavior of a select few.

Some may believe that they can prevent such atrocities from affecting them by restricting their activities and those of their family. Most of us realize that this serves no purpose.

It is here that we as observant Jews have our lucky charm. Both our “bitachon” and “emunah,” as difficult as it might seem, carry us through these trying times.

We all have the right to question and search, but deep in our hearts and souls we know that there is no way for us to make any sense of these tragic circumstances. Yet because of our deep belief in Hashem we are able to “grin and bear it” even though we are being torn apart inside. It is what made so many survivors of the Holocaust continue throughout their lives as Torah-observant Jews. Yes there were some who said they would never believe again. There are those who when affected by a horrible occurence in their lives make the decision that there cannot be a God looking over them. It seems understandable and logical. Yet we remember thinking just the opposite. Each time we faced a challenging occurrence, our only refuge was believing in Hashem. That doesn’t mean we were not angry. Nor does it mean we in any way understood why certain things were happening. They were too far beyond our wildest expectations to understand.

Yet who are we to talk or how does the world forget the unheard-of tragedy of five members of the Fogel family being stabbed to death in front of their then-12-year-old daughter in a terrorist attack in Itamar? We can never forget the Sbarro massacre, where the most innocent victims were young children together with so many others. One family, the Schijveschuurdes, lost their mother, father and three young children, leaving five children orphaned. We as Jews have become champions at accepting, with tremendous difficulty, the notion that these atrocities are not meant for us to understand.

We will continue to live our lives to the fullest. That is what Hashem wants from us. It is because of our strong belief system that we have the courage to carry on. No terrorist, no gunman will take that from us. Because of our faith in Hashem we can continue to be grateful for each day and live life to its fullest.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick


Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick are living in Bergenfield after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Rabbi Glick was the rav of Congregation Ahavat Yisroel as well as a practicing clinical psychologist in private practice. He also taught at Champlain Regional College. The Glicks were frequent speakers at the OU marriage retreats. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for young adults with special needs. They can be reached at [email protected].

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