Message from Rabbi Silber
Over the last two days I have started writing this message only to find myself overwhelmed with emotion and unable to continue. The abduction and murder of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach has left us speechless and broken-hearted. Yet, in the midst of this darkness we have seen beautiful rays of light. We have witnessed the beautiful achdus (unity) of our people. Jews of all affiliations, Chareidim,Chilonim, residents of Israel and Jewish communities around the world were united in a desire to do whatever was within our power to bring back our boys. God had different plans – these precious boys were returned to their families not for a joyous reunification but for Kevuras Yisroel, Jewish burial.
It is important at this time to reflect on a few important points:
1. Prayer – Our Teffilos were not in vain. The power of prayer is that it allows us to connect to God and to one another. Prayer anchors us to God and allows us to steady ourselves even in the midst of difficult and tumultuous circumstances. We prayed together as a Shul, as a community and joined spiritually with communities around the world as they did the same. Our Teffilos united us as a people. This unity and togetherness is something we can still hold on to even as the precious neshamos ascend heavenward. Keep davening and reciting your Tehillim for the benefit of their souls. Daven that God bestow some level of nechama (consolation) upon the bereaved families. Pray that we can maintain our national unity in the days and weeks ahead.
2. Destiny – Each of us has one; yet, we don’t get to choose it. Gilad, Naftali and Eyal united Am Yisrael in a way that only three young boys could. We saw our own children in their faces. They taught us that although there is much that divides us, there is so much more that unites us. We can sometimes be a factious and fractured people – these boys allowed us to transcend our self-imposed national divides. Gilad, Naftali and Eyal never chose this destiny – but this is what they accomplished in their short lives. We must find ways in which we can foster greater feelings of unity with our fellow Jews. We must go out of our way to rise above dispute and divisiveness. Although we have different personal destinies, we share a joint national destiny to be an Am Echad, one nation.
3. Support – We were supposed to gather in the Shul tonight to write letters of support and love for the families. I would ask that we take the time to compile a short letter to each of the families – our form of nichum aveylim (comforting mourners). There are no real words of consolation – but let the families know that we too share the pain of their loss. You can email your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will compile the messages and have them sent to the families.
4. Response – We must grow from this experience. We must take our pain use it to shape our future. On the 17th of Tammuz, July 15th the Vaad HaRabbonim will be organizing a community- wide event. The purpose of this event is to examine ways in which we can build unity and cohesion within our community. The 17th of Tammuz is the beginning of the three week period during which we remember the tragedies of the Jewish people that have unfolded during the last 2500 years. We remember our Bais HaMikdash (Temple) which was destroyed because of Sinas Chinam (baseless hatred). The Three Weeks is a time to focus on improving our inter-personal conduct. We should not wait for tragic events to bring us together we must do our part in strengthening our relationship and connection with the other. Further details about this communal event will be announced in the next week.
We hope that the souls of Gilad, Naftali and Eyal ascend the highest and loftiest levels of the World to Come. We hope they find an eternal place underneath the Throne of God. We hope that the Shaar, Frenkel and Yifrach families find the strength to deal with their terrible loss. We hope that the day will come when God will see fit to rid the world of evil and usher in a time of peace and harmony.
Let us continue to daven each and every for Moshiach to come, dry our tears, reunite us with our loved ones and bring us home.
We are proud to announce the launch of Suburban Orthodox's new website. Some of the new and exciting features are:
* View and modify your account information online (bill payment integrated into site)
* iCal integration - see the shul schedule in your online calendar
There are additional features that will be released over the coming months.
Member signup instructions are as follows:
1) Send your name and email address to email@example.com
3) Within 24 hours, you will receive an email with a link. Open that link and set your password, and other demographic data.
We ask that members update their family membership information ( names, birthdays, yartzeits ) as soon as possible.
Please direct all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Silber's welcome
The Torah in Shemos states: “V’ASU LI MIKDASH V’SHACHANTI B’SOCHUM; Make for Me a Temple and I will dwell within you.”
Although we have not yet merited the Third Temple, we are incredibly fortunate to have a beautiful, holy and incredibly special מקדש מעט (small Temple) ; our own Suburban Orthodox Congregation Toras Chaim. We are a strong Shul of over 300 families made up of all ages and backgrounds. We are a Shul that takes special pride in creating a meaningful atmosphere for prayer and Torah learning.
We offer multiple opportunities for Shiurim, classes and lectures as well as extensive youth programming and community chessed activities. The State of Israel has a special place in our communal heart. We see its miraculous formation just 60 short years ago as the dawn of the Messianic era. Ultimately, we believe that what makes our people unique is the ability to forge a special and unique bond with הקדוש ברוך הוא and our Shul provides us with multiple opportunities to accomplish this noble objective.
Until the day when we are blessed with the Third Temple, we will continue to use our מקדש מעט as our portal of connection to God and to each other.
Rabbi Shmuel Silber