A Community Mourns

May Hashem comfort the Azan family and those who are mourning with them.  Of course we can never EVER claim to know why these things happen, and oftentimes there is never one reason alone. Yet in some mysterious way this was necessary for the betterment of klal Yisrael, as it is with all tragedies.

Without a doubt, we are supposed to see the calamities that befall us as Divine rebuke, and use them as an impetus for all Jews throughout the community to improve our deeds.

Unfortunately, I have noticed several community-works projects entirely missing this point. Instead, they are giving out free smoke detectors and offering fire safety tips in response to this tragedy. Although I’m sure this campaign is well-intentioned, it sends the wrong message to the community. Handing out smoke detectors does not resolve or address the cause of the tragedy. The fire was not the cause of this catastrophe. To think so is not only shameful, it is a grave mistake.

Seriously, what kind of lesson can we hope to derive from such a mind-boggling calamity? Not to light Hanukah candles? Clearly that can’t be it. To exercise proper fire-safety precautions? That’s not only overly simplistic; the magnitude of the tragedy is far beyond what would be  necessary to drive that point home.

I don’t presume to know why this tragedy occurred. I can’t begin to say what we’re supposed to learn from it. All I can do is pray that the Azan family be comforted for their loss, that those injured be restored to health, and that our community know no further such catastrophes.

Nathan B.

Remembering Rabbi Shteinman, zt”l

Thank you for sharing the life history of HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman, zt”l. The title of the article was so apropos, ‘Humble Giant Serving Gd And The Jewish People For 104 Full Years’ and fits Rabbi Shteinman to a T.  He was a simple, humble giant of a man.  Torah was his lifeline and he lived it one hundred percent!  R’ Shteinman came into the world simple and even at his levaya he wanted it to be kept simple. There were no eulogizes, except for one by Rabbi Edelstein, his successor. The greatest way that Rabbi Shteinman was shown hakarat hatov was just by the sheer numbers of mourners, approximately 600,000 people, who were present at the levaya to pay their respects.

May his neshama be elevated to the highest level. And may we all continue to learn from how he chose to live his life and work, to be simple, humble, and a living example of a True Torah Jew!

Dovid H.

Life on Other Planets

I look forward to reading your publication every month. But, last month’s article about alien life (Is There Life on Other Planets?) was a bit much. As much as the possibility of life in other worlds is fascinating and fun to contemplate, being that getting there is practically impossible, I would think that all the time, money, and resources spent on space research would be wiser spent trying to clean up the mess mankind has made here on Earth.

Victoria G.

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Great article! I do believe there is life on other planets.  If Hashem allows us to explore His universe, I feel that it can only help humanity, even if it only serves to give us perspective and pause. We should be thinking seriously on how to reach Mars or any other planet that is inhabitable.   In the near future we will need to create the ability to live on other planets. The basis for this is because Hashem loves his creations and in that love Hashem provides a solution before any challenge. With the exponential advance of medicine, people are living longer, and we will need another planet to live on. Sure, we still have plenty of room on earth, but we will need more space eventually.

Alan D.