Friday, November 09, 2012

Help is On the Way

The purpose of this blog is to help you transform your Friday night table from a meal to a profound encounter. Please print & share.

This week: A Question, a Problem, a Solution for your table

1. The Question: Were you profoundly happy or profoundly disappointed Tuesday night?

Most people I spoke with were one or the other. I have found very few people who (like me) are unconvinced that the differences between the two candidates were more significant than their similarities.

2. The Problem: Since the country - and much of the world - is so divided and believes so much that they are right and the other side is wrong, is that OK? Does unity matter?

3. The Solution: There is one way to create unity, whether between two people or between two groups of people. That is to have a common purpose, a common goal.

Sometimes that common goal is to defeat a common enemy.

This would be a bottom-line level of unity.

Other times, the common goal is something positive, like educating our children.

Right now we have a common enemy, and I would like to use this soapbox to encourage you to join with me in unity to fight it.

Imagine a newlywed couple who are renting a basement apartment.

In the apartment they have all of their wedding gifts.



Photo albums.

Childhood mementos.

Many precious books.

All of their clothing.

The basement was flooded by Sandy and they lost...


Their cars were completely destroyed.

They still have to go to work.

They still have to eat.

They are lucky that they are renters.

Homeowners have the added pain of losing the entire house AND needing to make mortgage payments. AND paying for the demolition of the condemned house. (Can they even think of rebuilding?)

We're not talking about a few hundred people here. There are thousands.

From The Jewish Week: “We have families who have lost all their cars, totaled from storm damage,” Dolgin said. “We have families whose basements are completely flooded, homes that will surely be condemned. One grandfather died in his sleep during the storm, another grandfather had a stroke as the house was flooding. Worst of all, there are many families we have not yet heard from.”

If you are the director of a school with hundreds of children and overnight the school building is destroyed, what do you do?

The needs in New York are enormous and profound.

Just like you shouldn't believe all the bad news you read, you also shouldn't believe all the good news.

From this eyewitness account in Tuesday's Forward: "The newscasters and papers are reporting that we’re turning a page. They’re reporting that the lights are coming on, the subways are running, people are back to work. That is not the case in Far Rockaway.....For three straight days I’ve been in Far Rockaway, I’ve not seen a Red Cross volunteer, I’ve not seen FEMA, I’ve not seen the National Guard."

Yet together, we have enormous resources.

Let's work together to help these people. Now. Today. Please.

If you live close enough to New York to assist with physical cleanup, please go this Sunday.

Bring extra gasoline for generators.

Achiezer provides direct service to many families who lost everything they owned. These families must start from scratch; literally.
Many Jewish groups have relief funds, including the JFN.
The Mazal School was destroyed and hoping to survive as a school.

If you know any victims, you might help them navigate their own recovery with these articles from Consumer Reports:

a. Car damaged or destroyed by flood
b. Preparing to deal with home insurance company
c. Other useful articles

If I have failed to move you, read this journal of a survivor.

Chesed - the giving of oneself to help another - is the foundation of everything Jewish. Everything.

Shabbat Shalom

No comments: