As Teaneck continues to reel from the tragic accident that took place outside our largest synagogue, it would likely be impossible to find someone local who isn’t connected to one or both of the victims in some way. Shelly Mermelstein, a”h, was a true baal chesed who was part of our community’s fabric on many levels. So, too, we are still learning about the depth and breadth of the private chesed in which Micah Kaufman is involved. It seems few tzedakah organizations in our community have not been a beneficiary of Micah’s volunteerism and advocacy. As our tefillot lift up to shamayim, we pray that Shelly’s neshama will have an aliyah, and Micah will return to us with his body and soul completely recovered, soon.
In all this darkness, there is light. We take comfort from the many, many community events that mentioned these two gentlemen over the past week, with Tehillim being said in literally every shul in Teaneck and Bergenfield, and in the tefillot that have lifted our community as we began to light the neirot of Chanukah. Just as we revel in the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days, we expect nothing less of a miracle in the way Shelly will bargain with Hashem for Micah’s life from shamayim.
We are also thankful that our partners in local government and police are advocating and coordinating to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.
During this Chanukah season, we know that only light edges out the darkness of our world. Even the antidote to Jersey City, to Poway and Pittsburgh, is to add light where darkness lies. At this end of 2019, as always, we encourage all in our Jewish Link community to seek light wherever it lies. Where there is no light, where dangers lurk, let’s be that light for one another. We are responsible to not just be a light unto the nations but to each other. Let’s light up our communities with our gemilut chasadim, with our caring, with our tefillot, our kindness and our love for our fellow Jew. We hope to share only good news in 2020.