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Be a Point of Light

The news coming out of Israel, and here in the U.S., this summer leaves all peace-loving people in shock. A 19-year-old, a person in the prime of life, walks into a Jewish home on Friday night with premeditated desire to kill innocent people.

What would motivate someone to do such a horrid thing? Incitement and brainwashing of young minds to hate, hate, hate Jews indiscriminately.  

The Salomon family was celebrating the birth of a baby boy and three generations had joined together in joyous celebration, as the grandparents and two of their grown children were cut down and killed, and the grandmother injured. In a moment, joy was turned to tragedy for no other reason than unadulterated conditioned hatred. 

This past week we witnessed once again, right here in our own country, the tragedy of a young person only 20 years old, killing an innocent bystander who was “on the other side.” Once again, bigotry and brainwashing turns a young person into a monster. Educated in America, but lacking a proper moral standard, he allows himself to be influenced by others who are prejudiced and not willing to live in peace with people of a different orientation. Once again, we must do the actions that will help turn hatred into love. The Torah, our Book of Life, Torat Chayim, offers the antidote to hate.

We are living in the “best of times and the worst of times.” We have so much to be grateful for and yet such news stories leaves one feeling numb and disoriented. How can this be happening in our holy land of Israel? How can similar tragedies occur elsewhere in the world? What can I do about it? Is there ever going to be an end to these terrible stories?

Recently Chabad of KC launched a program called: Points of Light. It is based on the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s efforts to help Israel and mankind as a whole. Points of Light empowers each of us in our quest to do something positive to overcome the negativity in the world. Points of Light encourages each individual man, woman and child to choose at least one mitzvah, one shining good deed, to observe or enhance, and share it with one other person. One of these Points of Light is lighting the Shabbat and holiday candles. When one lights a candle, we witness how the light envelops the dining table, the room, indeed, the entire home. This physical light mirrors the spiritual light accomplished through the performance of each and every act of goodness. Every Point of Light creates additional luster, filling the world with the light and energy of positivity that overwhelms all forms of darkness.

Please join the many who have already taken on to do a mitzvah from the Points of Light and let us create a chain of light and love across the world. We can repair the hatred with love! Love of one’s fellow, love of G-d, and love of His Torah and His commandments. Try choosing one of these Points of Light and observe it as best as you are able. There are many helpful tutorials at www.Chabad.org/mivtzoim.    

Together we can truly see a better tomorrow, when all people will live in peace and harmony. Let us do our part to make this the new reality!

Blumah Wineberg is director of Neshei Chabad and coordinator of Simcha Gifts.