The Surge of October 2023

Friday, 3 November, 2023 - 10:26 am

When you hear the word surge, with what do you associate it? In recent years “surge” meant an increase in COVID cases. Some may recall the troop surge of 2007 in Iraq. For us in Southeast Louisiana, “storm surge” relates to the impact of hurricanes on our coastal areas. I would like to offer another association, one that is uniquely Jewish.

In 1967, following the miracles of the Six Day War, there was a surge of inspiration and an uptick of Jewish involvement. Jews had felt the ominous threat of annihilation by the Arab nations, and just over 20 years after the Holocaust ended. The exhilaration that Jews experienced as they beheld what the New York Times declared to be “A Miracle of Biblical Proportions,” brought out strong feelings of connection to their Jewishness. There was a surge of Jews wanting to do more Mitzvahs, learn more Torah, attend Shul more often, and just do Jewish things. There was a similar surge around the time of the Yom Kippur war, 6 years later.

This year, in response to the attacks in Israel on Simchat Torah, there is another surge. Amazing things are happening. Jews are looking for connectedness. Tefillin, Mezuzahs, Shabbat candles, Synagogue attendance, and any opportunity for Jewish involvement. Restaurants in Tel Aviv went Kosher and closed on Shabbat so that they could prepare food for IDF soldiers. An Israeli TV anchor, borrowed a kippa from a guest on his show so that he could pronounce a blessing of thanksgiving when the news of the rescued soldier, Ori Magdish, was announced. Thousands of pairs of Tzitzit were being made by hundreds of volunteers so they could be given to members of Tzahal. These are just a tiny drop in an ocean of increased Jewish observance.

The difference is that, while in 1967 the surge was mostly in response to the salvation, in 2023, the surge is in advance of the salvation. We are still in the thick of distress. Yet, Jews have come to recognize the critical value and importance of this surge in determining the positive outcome that we await with certainty and faith in Hashem. May Hashem see our efforts and grant us a speedy salvation.

This war is fought on four fronts. There is the battle being fought by the IDF, the sacred right to self-defense and to facilitating a life of safety and security for the inhabitants of Israel. There is the PR battle that is waged through dissemination of truth at every opportunity. There is the psychological/emotional front being fought both in Israel and around the world, to maintain the morale of the Jewish people in the face of these threats. There is the spiritual battle, based on our firm belief that holy acts make a real difference.

The terrorists tried to destroy Jewish life and Jewish communities. We must strengthen and increase Jewish life and Jewish communities.

I am including our action plan once again as a reminder of the things we can do to propel our people to victory.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

Action Plan Highlights
See our page
Add your Mitzvah today!

·Tefillin: Please visit Chabad Uptown or Chabad Metairie and lay Tefillin or reach out to have someone come by with Tefillin. If you have Tefillin, put them on daily and offer to share them with other Jewish males over Bar Mitzvah. I am proud to report that we have experienced a significant surge in people coming forward to lay Tefillin.

·Shabbat Candles: Ladies and girls, you have the power of light in your hands. Light Shabbat candles before sunset on Friday (this week at 6:14 pm). If you need or know someone that needs Shabbat candles, let us know and we will get a package to them. Many women have committed to light Shabbat candles in our community. This is very gratifying.

·Mezuzah: Put a Mezuzah on the door of your home, or check the existing ones to make sure they are valid. Reach out to us if you need a Mezuzah or help checking the ones you have up. In New Orleans several dozen Mezuzahs have been put up in the past two weeks. We just got a shipment of 120 additional Mezuzahs and requests are coming in strong.

·Tzedakah: is a great resource to get funds directly to the organizations on the ground in Israel helping with the war effort. There are many other reputable organizations raising funds as well, see for the Federation’s initiatives. The main thing is to offer our support.

·Pray: Chabad Rabbis in Israel have asked that recite the following Psalms for the safety and security our people in Israel - Psalms 20, 22, 69, 122, and 150. At Chabad (both locations) we recite them twice daily during the morning and evening minyan.

·Letter in the Scroll: Get your child a letter in the Children’s Torah Scroll – The Unity Torah for people of all ages –

·Study Torah: Join a Torah class or study on your own. Register for The World of Kabbalah and introduce the calm that comes from the power of Torah knowledge into your life. For the uptown course For the Metairie course

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