5,000 Rabbis

By Rabbi Mendy Piekarski

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5,000 Rabbis
Five thousand Rabbis gathered in New York around a theme of solidarity for Israel. “It was a weekend of love, hope, positivity and unity,” Piekarski writes. “Truly uplifting.”
I want to share with you the inspiring experience I had at the annual gathering of 5,000 rabbis in Brooklyn, New York. The theme for this year centered around solidarity for Israel, and the weekend was filled with enriching workshops featuring Rabbis from around the world. What struck me the most was the incredible spirit throughout the weekend. where there was a notable absence of loneliness, anger, or hate. Instead, the atmosphere was filled with love, hope, positivity, and unity. It was a truly uplifting experience to witness and be a part of. Even the Keynote speaker at the banquet, the Rabbi’s nine-year-old son from Sderot, Israel (one of the cities which the terrorists entered), was full of positivity, strength and commitment. He spoke of the 12 seconds it takes him to run to a bomb shelter and asked how we can use those 12 seconds in our lives for positivity and kindness. As well, a rally took place in Washington, DC, this past Tuesday, where close to 300,000 people gathered in a powerful display of support for Israel. Whether you were there in person or watched it live, the prevailing themes were unmistakable—positivity, hope, and unity. In these challenging times, it’s easy to succumb to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and anger—emotions that are entirely justifiable and relatable. However, I believe that what will propel us forward, both individually and as a nation, is embracing positivity, unity, and hope. Consider the metaphor of a small candle in a dark room: when lit, it illuminates the entire space. It may feel like there is a lot of darkness in the world, with groups expressing hate for the Jewish people. However, the best way to counteract this negativity and demonstrate that we are not afraid is by lighting our own candles and dispelling the darkness around us. I encourage you to find and light your own candle, your source of positivity and hope. Whether it’s through hanging a Mezuzah on your door, lighting Shabbat candles, or spreading messages of hope and positivity on social media, these small actions collectively contribute to eradicating the darkness. Let’s continue to be a beacon of kindness, morality, and unity, proving that we are, and always have been, a light upon the nations. Wishing you a shabbat filled with warmth and light.

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