Weekly message from
Rabbi A. M. Sufrin MBE
This message is coming to you from New York as we attend the annual Chabad Conference of Shluchim of the Rebbe. We estimate some 3000 colleagues to be in attendance from all over the world.
On Sunday evening, approx 4500 will gather together for the closing banquet. Shluchim together with their guests will be treated to a special treat as they feel and internalise how they are part and parcel of the largest Jewish force in the world working in so many ways educational and social with World Jewry.
We have a nice delegation from Chabad of N E London & Essex and we look forward to sharing with you more.
This week our hearts are broken as we digest the horrors of the brutal and cowardly attack against our Brethren in Israel as they prayed their morning prayers in their Synagogue in Jerusalem. Our heartfelt prayers go to each and every Family member and large student body affected by this senseless act of hatred.
Our response as taught to us by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, to each and every Jewish tragedy is to increase our efforts in ensuring that light prevails over darkness. This we do have the power over and NO terrorist individual or group can take this from us. Through extra deeds of kindness to one another, extra charity study and Mitzvos. we increase light, which will succeed in overcoming the horrors of darkness.
The portion of Toldos read this week further emphasises this for us.
After pleading for children, Rebecca falls pregnant, but her pregnancy is full of pain and discomfort.
G-d tells her, “Two nations are in your womb; two powers will emerge from within you. The upper hand will pass from one power to the other."
Jacob and Esau represent the two souls that we possess, the opposing drives that exist within us. We each possess an inner Jacob - i.e., our Divine soul, with its G-dly drives, and also an Esau, i.e., our animating soul and selfish drives.
When our Divine soul asserts itself, it weakens the materialistic tendencies of the animating soul.
The Divine soul overcomes the animating soul in the same way that light overcomes darkness. Light does not have to actively exert itself to dispel darkness - darkness simply ceases to exist in the presence of light. Similarly, as soon as we let the holiness and goodness of our Divine souls shine by adding in our observance however small the selfishness of the animating soul disappears as does the darkness being pushed away by the light that we have created.
Let’s do our part, and assist the people of Israel wherever they find themselves. May this new week bear good news for all of the people of Israel and the world over.
Have a wonderful Shabbos and successful week to follow.