from the rabbi’s desk

via the shir chadash listserve:
Dear Shir Chadash Family,

It is my fervent hope that you and your loved ones are safe. So far everyone I
have talked to or asked about in our community is safe, and I thank God for
that.

My family and I have taken refuge in Atlanta. I, like you, am in shock at the
devastation our New Orleans area has suffered. I grieve at what appears to
be significant loss of life in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Many of us have may have lost our homes, or will need to do significant
rebuilding. There is a good chance our synagogue, as well as the JCC and the
day school, have sustained a great deal of flooding and damage. These
things are a huge blow to our psyches, and it is very hard to deal with them,
especially from afar, not fully knowing what the story is. All we can do is
comfort each other and pray.

I would like to open this listserv as a place to trade information about people,
areas, and buildings in our community, as well as our thoughts. Please post
anything you have heard that others might be interested in, or questions you
have.

The Mid-Continent USCJ has opened its hurricane relief fund for us, and my
colleagues from all over have offered help and assistance. Federation of
Northern New Jersey is calling for donations to help the New Orleans Jewish
and non-Jewish communities and I suspect that other federations and
organizations will follow. We are not alone.

I would like to conclude with two thoughts. One is that a synagogue is not
primarily a building, it is a group of people. Our congregation exists in the
care we show for each other and our desire to form a Jewish community
together. That is there whether our building is inhabitable or not, whether we
are momentarily scattered or not.

Second of all, the Torah tells us God put a rainbow in the sky and swore to
Noah he would never again destroy the world. The storm and waters may
have ravaged us, but we as Jews have faith that our world will go on and we
will rebuild.

Miriam and Tali join me in praying for the welfare of each one of you. Please
contact me or Miriam to let us know what is happening with you. My cell
number is NUMBER REMOVED and my email is EMAIL REMOVED , and Miriam’s
cell is NUMBER REMOVED and her email is EMAIL REMOVED.

B’shalom,

Rabbi Ted Lichtenfeld

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please contact me via the contact form on the right if you need the email and cell phone numbers… i felt posting them here would be inappropriate.

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