It has been quite a few emotionally as well as physically draining and difficult weeks.  It is unfathomable that here in New York so many hundreds of people are still unable to live in their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. And in Israel an all-out war in Gaza that would have caused many lives has for now been averted.

I was in a part of the 5 Towns last night that except for two or three homes is still completely dark and unoccupied.  People have been displaced; they are at friends, siblings at parents and so on.  It just takes a very long time to get everything in order—insurance and other assistance. Then if you can locate one in the New York area many homes need new hot water heaters and boilers.  The local Achiezer organization has reached out of town and has purchased a quarter million heaters and boilers to help people out here on the home front.

In Israel a close friend of mine—a journalist—whose wife had their fifth child last week—a girl— wrote to me that he was called up to reserve duty in light of the possible ground incursion into Gaza.  He ha snow told me that he was at the Erez Crossing with Gaza but that in light of the current cease fire he has been released from duty and is now back home with his wife and kids for Shabbos.

Like I said, it has been a wild few weeks both here and there.  Rav Asher Weiss was in New York from Israel at the beginning of the week and amongst the things he said was that navigating our way through this challenging situations is not about understanding them—which is apparently not possible—but about accepting them.

Here’s to better days ahead. Shabbat Shalom to all.


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