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House to House Combat

Friday, 1 August, 2014 - 11:27 am

A fly falls into a cup of coffee. Italian: Gets mad, spills the coffee and walks away. French: Takes the fly out and drinks the coffee. Chinese: Spills out the coffee and eats the fly. Russian: Drinks the coffee in silence. Israeli: Sells the coffee to the French, sells the fly to the Chinese, buys himself a new cup of coffee and spends the rest of the money to develop a device that would prevent flies from falling into the coffee. Palestinian: Blames the Israeli for putting the fly into his coffee, complains to the UN, gets a financial aid from the EU to buy another cup of coffee, instead uses the money to buy TNT and blows up the coffee shop where the Italian, French, Chinese and Russian are trying to convince the Israeli to give up his cup of coffee for the Palestinian...

The war in Gaza rages on. Our brothers and sisters are being wounded, kidnapped and killed. The world around us has gone off the deep end. The UN is condemning Israel for not sharing Iron Dome technology with Hamas. Ceasefire is defined as Israel ceases and Hamas fires.

Every one of us want to do more to help and support. I encourage you to continue following the situation and learn what you can do to help at www.chabadneworleans.com/2639944 and www.ctvp.org.

I would also like to highlight two suggestions. We are currently in the nine day period of intense mourning for the destruction of both Holy Temples on the 9th of Av. Our sages teach that the Temple was destroyed as a result of baseless hatred and disunity among the Jewish people. To undo the result we must remove the cause. At all times, but especially in this time of year, and especially during these trying times for the Jewish people, we must significantly increase in the area of Ahavat Yisrael – unconditional love for each other - and Achdut Yisrael – unity. We are seeing high levels of unity and an outpouring of Ahavat Yisrael in reaction to the situation in Israel right now. We need to take it up a notch and sustain it until we bring about the Redemption and the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash.

The second suggestion is based on a thought shared by Rabbi Gluckowsky of Rechovot, Israel. The Rebbe taught us that a Mitzvah has the power to have an impact on something even across the ocean. As IDF soldiers are in Gaza going house to house to seek tunnels, weapons and militants, we need to start a house to house campaign of our own. On the door of every Jewish home there should be a Mezuzah attesting to the presence of Hashem in that home. The Mezuzah also symbolizes the verse in Psalms, “Hashem is your protector, Hashem is your protective shade on your right hand. Hashem guards your going and coming from now and forever.”

Let us launch a house to house campaign to ensure that Jews in our community have kosher Mezuzahs. If you have a Mezuzah, have it checked to make sure it is kosher and properly installed. If you do not have one or your Jewish neighbor does not have one, get one and affix it to the door. We at Chabad are happy to help out. Contact us for a Mezuzah checkup or to get Mezuzahs for your homes. Our people are standing by to do what they can. If you would like to contribute to a fund that helps acquire Mezuzahs for those that cannot afford them, go to www.chabadneworleans.com/donate and indicate that it is for the Mezuzah campaign.

In the merit of these Mitzvahs may Hashem bring peace and salvation to Israel and the entire world with the coming of Moshiach speedily. May these days of mourning and sadness be transformed to days of feasting and celebration with the complete and final redemption, Amen!

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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