• Jodi Samuels

Bringing Light And Goodness In The Face Of Devastation



Last week, our dear friends suffered a terrible tragedy – they lost their 3 month old son to SIDS. Its every parent’s worst nightmare to wake up and see that there baby is not breathing. The family then suffered a double tragedy when the 49 year old grandmother of the 3 month old, suddenly passed away while the family were sitting shiva. An absolutely devastating story.


A few days later I received hate mail targeted at my organization and me and some of our best volunteers. The person writing this is clearly very sad, angry and isolated. Sadly we all pretty much can guess who the person is behind these bitter and anonymous emails. We are always hearing stories in the media of people going crazy etc. and it made me think what are we doing wrong as a society that there is so much darkness, negativity, hate, anger? I was also thinking how can we change the world?


My wise husband always tells my don’t ask “why” – there is no answer to why, rather ask “what”. What can you do about a situation? What can we learn from this challenge? How can we use this ordeal to make us better, stronger people. While I was thinking I had flash of the conversation I had with my friend who lost both his son and mom in a few days. Even though he was devastated he was not angry but instead told me the way that the community could help is to learn and say tehillim in memory of the deceased neshamot. He said we should do good deeds in their memory. What an amazing approach to life. Don’t lash and hate but instead bring light and goodness into the world.


It was timely that I went to parenting class with Slovie Wolff and she shared the story of when Chanah went each year to visit her son, Shmuel in the temple with Eli she would bring him a coat that was too big for him. Of course there is the physical coat but the Navi is giving us a greater meaning, that every year we should be sure that our children are BEH growing spiritually, and that they need us to clothe them with bigger spiritual coats, that they never are just coasting in life. This is the way we can in fact change the world for the better.


It’s with this message I ask you to take on a mitzvah or learn Torah and to do this with your children in honor of the neshamot of Hannah bat Azizah and Refael Haim Shelomo ben Anais Hannah


Originally published: June 1, 2014

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