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04/29/2015 12:39:23 PM


"Do not stand idly by while your neighbor bleeds."
                                             ----(Leviticus 19:6)
Shalom Beth Am Community,

Since this weekend’s tragedy in Nepal, I am sure you have been like me, saddened by the horror that has been unleashed halfway around the world. Each morning, I wake up and learn about the many more that have died in this terrible disaster. Just this morning, I learned that the number has reached over 5000 deaths and the authorities predict that the number may even double when all the neshamot (souls) have been counted. This is a terrible loss of life.

What could our sacred texts teach us about how to respond to such devastation? Throughout these days, I have been drawn more and more to those important words from Leviticus that are quoted at the top. The words teach us that we are commanded to help our fellow human beings while they are in need. As Jews it is our duty to reach out to humankind when they are crying out. The book of Leviticus does not mince words. Just as we are commanded to light candles on Shabbat or read and study Torah, we are commanded to help those that are in need halfway around the world because they are our brothers and sisters in humanity.

This commandment is the exact reason why the IDF (Israeli Defense force) is already on the ground in Nepal, helping with medical and infrastructure needs. This is the exact reason why the American Jewish World Service went into action to raise funds immediately once the disaster struck. And this commandment is the reason why I am writing to you, asking you to support any helpful agency, so that those that are in need can receive our help.

Below, I am supplying two links for you to use. The first is from the American Jewish World Service. We have used them in the past to funnel funds to help those in need during previous disasters. The other link is for UJA-Federation of New York. They have set up a special fund so that the monies can be sent to the special units of the Israeli Defense Force in Nepal and other organized Jewish agencies that are working to aid those in need in Nepal.

Please use either one of these organizations to help those in need or use any organization that you feel comfortable using. Our Judaism commands us not to stand idly by. We all must act to help those in need.

(click on either one to offer your support)
The American Jewish World Service

The UJA-Federation of NY’s Nepal Relief Fund
Shalom for all,
Rabbi Robert Weiner
         IDF lands in Nepal


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