Last Friday morning, our friends of 25 years set off on a family trip up north in Israel. By 11am their world was forever decimated when their mother Lucy and her 2 daughters were horrifically killed by 2O bullets sprayed at them in a drive by terror attack.
While the Jewish people worldwide celebrated Pesach we all collectively mourned this tragedy. Rabbi Leo Dee, the father has become a leader of the Jewish people. In the midst of the most unfathomable and painful situation Rabbi Dee has shared the most incredibly powerful messages of unity, love and respect. His words have impacted thousands across the world. How does someone find the strength, resilience and presence of mind to speak to all people of all faiths? Leo held high a beacon of morality symbolizing the triumph of good over evil.
Just last week, the Dee family were a regular family living a committed and passionate Jewish life. However, it was not a public life of national leadership.
In this weeks Torah portion of Leviticus God tells the Jewish people how they can know whether or not an animal is kosher. God said that if an animal has split hooves and chews its cud, then it is kosher and can be eaten. Just because an animal has split hooves and looks kosher it is not enough. You have to check if it chews the cud - what it does on the inside is just as important to the outside.
Eight days ago the Dee family looked like a perfect family of 7 with beaming smiles. They were obviously a close family. This week we learnt that beauty and love were just as strong on the inside. Under extreme pressure the Dee family are showing the world the values that drive them each day are not just external but they are the same values in personal tragedy.
May the Almighty grant them comfort and may we only know happy occasions.