May 25, 2024
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May 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The craziness is over—at least for the meantime. I hope it will still be somewhat quiet when you are reading this next week. In the midst of it all there have been endless stories of police, troops, and ammunition guarding shuls, Jewish schools, and sundry other potential targets in France. On the local front, there was lots of discussion about extra protection at various Jewish sites throughout Long Island, New York, New Jersey, and I’m sure, many other places as well.

When will it end—or perhaps, how will it end? Or maybe that’s the wrong question, because it almost certainly won’t end. It has been going on since the time of Adam, except for very brief periods when things seemed quiet and normal—until it wasn’t any longer. And even during those quiet periods, there certainly were many parts of the world where the killing, depravity, and madness continued relentlessly.

The only thing that changed is methodology. It started out with rocks, graduated to fire and sling shots, then moved on to bows and arrows and spears, to gun powder, automatic guns, tanks, chemical warfare, and nuclear bombs. I don’t believe it will ever end. The only question is, will it stop before we all revert back to Tohu Vavohu? If this was all an experiment to see if we could ever build a world of goodness, it has failed miserably.

But maybe that wasn’t the point. Maybe it was to see if some people could continue moving forward—Je Suis Charlie style—no matter what is going on. In that sense, we have succeeded! We have built better hospitals in the face of horrendous massacres. We are establishing centers and institutions of care in spite of, or maybe because of, devastating disorders and illnesses like autism, spinal chord injuries, or ghastly burns. We have people traveling to far parts of the globe to treat and try to cure horrible diseases like Ebola. We have groups working endlessly to try to eradicate social ills like mistreatment of women, children, people with special needs (like all of us), and minorities.

We even have the beginnings of religions trying to deal with some of the terrible problems that have been created by those very religions. In that area, progress has been resistant to change and remarkably slow, but it is coming. Slow, tentative changes—at least in attitude—have occurred. A likelihood of real change is in the appalling treatment of agunos, for example. It is beginning to be felt. It is still very far from being resolved and, in all likelihood, many agunos will continue to suffer and some will never be freed. But we are making progress.

What about treatment of people who are not from the in-group, or tribe? That unfairness has gone on forever, with only minute changes. But just look to Chabad and the Rebbe of Chabad, z”l, and you will be amazed at the stories of the Rebbe’s astonishing concern with black people, Chinese people, and people of every stripe and color. And most amazing, is the Rebbe’s love and concern for every Jew.

Change is excruciatingly slow and all the more agonizing while people are continuing to suffer. But it is happening. Thank God that we have been given the chance to participate in this bizarre and strange reality we call life.

By Mordechai Glick

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