It breaks my heart to have to write a piece like this again, especially in the context of a fun holiday weekend at home with family and friends. However, hate and fear has once again shattered the act of hope and love, this time in India.
Terrorists launched multi-site attacks throughout Mumbai on Wednesday and now more than 150 people are dead. All these lives matter, but what has been particularly shocking and disturbing is the revelation that the Chabad House was targeted for violence and destruction. These are ultra-Orthodox Jewish emissaries whose task is to provide an oasis of Jewish observance around the world, and their locations are staffed by young couples eager to engage unaffiliated Jews, to offer basic Jewish amenities and to spread the word of the Rebbe (Menachem Mendel Schneerson).
Whether or not you agree with their politics, practices or observances is irrelevant at this juncture. The simple fact now is that at least 5 people - including the local rabbi and his wife - may be dead and their souls deserve the utmost respect. You can read about the whole story here.
One Chabad concept I find particularly powerful is the notion that the fulfillment of any mitzvah, or commandment, brings the whole world that much closer to spiritual redemption. That can be as extreme as adopting a strictly Orthodox lifestyle or as basic as being nice to those around you. Don't let these amazing people die in vain. Spend a few minutes today doing good. Help the elderly. Feed the hungry. Care for the sick. Hell, even stimulating the economy can be considered a noble deed in these times. Do anything you can to help prevent this from ever happening again.
May the memories of those who passed be for a blessing.