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Places of Worship or Places of War?

The past week shocked us with two unacceptable events: a stabbing in a synagogue in Monsey and a shooting in a church in Texas.

Why do they do it? Why, of all places, do they do it in places of worship?

I am confident the police investigates each and every case with much attention. I believe professionals study each and every case, trying to establish a profile so they may be able to prevent future tragedies.

It is all good and should be done, but the fact remains: people who came to a place of worship, a place where people seek spirituality, a place where people pray for good things to happen and for a better future, a place where communities are built, come together and bond ended up dead. Or injured. Or emotionally and mentally crippled.

First thing first: my condolences to the families that lost their loved ones and I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured - both physically and mentally. I am thousands of miles away, but my heart is with you.

Yet, I do have a message.

A lot of people contacted me in regards to the holiday of Hanukah. Seeking for a theme or a message.

Here it is, folks: Hanukah is about devouring darkness and evil. How do we fight darkness? with light. We turn on a light. We can not fight darkness with darkness. It is not efficient and it will only increase the levels of darkness. Light is the answer.

So, my message is, please increase light.

I know you are going through a very painful period of time. However, don't let that dead killer win. Don't let the Monsey stabber win.

Your answer to their actions should be doubling the number of members at that church or in that synagogue. Double the number of community programs that you already have - for men, women, children. Continue showing up to services. Full attendance. Make it so full that you will need a whole new building.

A place of worship is - and should be - a place of goodness, kindness, love and giving - regardless whether it is Christian, Jewish or Muslim. Religion is about morals, codes of behavior and spirituality.

Pump up the volume of your holy work, my friends, and may God be with you.

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