Tonight, hundreds of thousands of people are attending shul internationally to pack their shuls wall to wall.
Thousands of women and girls are lighting candles tonight in the memory of our beloved Lori Kaye, of blessed memory, and in solidarity with Chabad of Poway.
We are all heartbroken, our tears are unstoppable. What happened in our shul last week, what happened to Lori, that has shattered us to our core. But we also need to stop and thank Hashem for protecting us from an even greater carnage, G-d forbid. Within this tragedy we have seen miracles.
We’ve also seen an unbelievable outpouring of love and support from everywhere, our fellow Chabad centers, Jewish communities throughout this country, and around the world. This has truly demonstrated “Am Yisroel Chai!” And the messages of encouragement we’ve received from our local community, the American public at large, including the President of the United States, and people of good conscious everywhere, has been truly heartening.
We’ve also showed the world what the Chabad of Poway community is made of. That we are proud of who we are and will not back down, we will not cower. Our community’s message of hope in our own time of deep pain has been seen, heard and read on national television and in the biggest newspapers. We have carried our Rebbe’s message of light over dark, of the power of each individual good deed to the world, and, together, comforted others and driven them to positive action.
That is an amazing tribute to the Chabad of Poway community and to Lori.
Please join us tonight to welcome Shabbat, and welcome each other back to our shul. Let’s come back to our home and declare once again “Shema Yisrael!” in our holy and pure sanctuary.
We are planning for hundreds of guests to join us followed by a kiddush on the patio. Please join Devorie and I, and Howard and Hannah for a catered community Friday night dinner.
As many of you might remember, at almost every lifecycle event Lori would be there and recite a quote from the book, Toward a Meaningful Life. Lori would be so happy to know that we are honoring her memory with the presence of the author of Towards a Meaningful Life, the renowned Rabbi Simon Jacobson, who will be spending Shabbat with us and talking to us on Friday night and Shabbat day.
Devorie and I, together with all of you, have been personally devastated. On Shabbat we cannot mourn, we must instead heal.
Over the years, a tremendous amount has been invested in security for our shul, but obviously in the last week we have been working with various agencies to determine the best security enhancements we can make to absolutely prevent anything like this from happening ever again. Immediate new security measures will be in place beginning this weekend.
We look forward greeting you and hugging you all tonight. Let’s have a l’chaim and drink to Lori’s memory and to our survival.
Next we week I will follow up with an email with more information and opportunities for you to help us through these most trying times. You can help by joining our board, our security committee, the 30-day shloshim committee, the gala committee and more.
As we begin the difficult road of healing, we should always keep in mind the Rebbe’s message in the face of communal tragedy, through building, growing and redoubling our efforts the soul of the departed will find peace and we will find comfort.
With much love,
Rabbi Yisroel and Devorie Goldstein