Following the Poway Shooting Attack

We spent Shabbat and the final days of Passover at the Chabad House in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, with 48 hours of ongoing learning from Rabbi Nechemia and Rebbetzin Nechami Wilhelm: beautiful prayers, with all kinds of participants from across the religious spectrum.
Words of Torah on the great goals the Jewish people is still working towards, about the meaning of freedom in our time on this Holiday of Freedom, and, in between, songs from the famous Chabad of Bangkok songbook. Every guest chooses which Jewish or Israeli song will be sung, all of them with a message that is optimistic, unifying, and full of faith.
Shabbat and holiday meals that lasted until 2 AM on both nights(!), after all the guests had shared something about themselves: men and women, young and old, from Israel, the United States, Europe and, actually, from all around the world. For some, this was their first opportunity to see a Shabbat meal in action, and they couldn’t understand how they had never experienced one before.
And last night was Passover’s final moving meal, saying farewell to the holiday with the singing of old, sacred Chassidic songs, the window overlooking the crowded, dirty streets of Bangkok.
Over the past two days we received a wonderful reminder that we are one people. Indivisible. After the holiday ended, unfortunately, we received a negative reminder of this same fact: the shooting attack at the Chabad House in Poway, California.
Following prayers this morning, Rabbi Nechemia Wilhelm told us: “I’m certain that yesterday in Poway there was the same spirit of unity and joy as there was here until the murderer entered the building. The Lubavitcher Rebbe always said that darkness is driven away with light. I have no doubt that continuing to spread light is the way to overcome darkness this time as well.”

In the photo: Rabbi Nechemia and Rebbetzin Nechami Wilhelm saying goodbye to travelers after the holiday.

Translated by JewishMOM.com

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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