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Acharei: Sanctifying G-d in Poway

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Above all, our hearts are shattered as they go out to the husband, daughter, family and community of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who was cruelly murdered by a terrorist in a cold-blooded attack on Jews gathered in prayer at Chabad-Lubavitch of Poway last Shabbat, the final day of Passover.

But within the tragedy and grief another story has emerged, one that is more powerful than the senseless crime perpetrated.

Millions, if not billions of people are being gripped by the heart-wrenching, yet formidable words of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, the Rabbi of the Poway community who survived the attack.

In articles and interviews, from his hospital bed and at the funeral service, Rabbi Goldstein is relentlessly focusing neither on his pain and loss, nor on fear and anger, but on his determination to transform this tragedy into a force of goodness and kindness.

Pointing his lost index finger to heaven, reflecting on G-d’s omnipresence, Rabbi Goldstein is creating an awesome Kiddush Hashem. Rarely do we see such an overt demonstration of sanctifying G-d among us all – a theme we read about in these week’s Torah chapters.

Most people would first be licking their wounds, stopping the bleeding. Rabbi Goldstein – in the spirit of being a true emissary of his Rebbe, the Lubavitcher Rebbe – proceeded to protect the children and his congregants, even while his hands were dripping with blood!

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