In looking back on my “old” Shabbat Lady articles, I found this one that I had written after Hurricane Katrina and it fits so well for Harvey that I have copied it here to share. It begins:
We have all been affected by Hurricane Katrina and each of us must respond to the call for help. And continues with words for today: We would never want such a catastrophe but now we must teach our children by our example. For children of different ages, we must be careful about how much to tell and how much they should see in the news. We must reassure them and then get to work — action gives us control over situations. Helping those in need in tangible ways will allow our children to take part in helping “fix the world.” There are many opportunities in town. And don’t forget that as time passes, for our friends in Houston, this is not a quick solution. We must continue to respond to the needs for many weeks, months and even years.
As you decide what your family can do, remember to use Jewish texts to talk about the important values of doing for others. Here are some wonderful words to teach the lessons of our history. Talk with your families using these texts from our Jewish sources and then bring the words to the actions we need for today.
Separate reeds are weak and easily broken; but bound together they are strong and hard to tear apart. — Tanchuma, Nitzvaim 1
- If I am not for myself, who is for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? — Hillel
- Those who think they can live without others are wrong. But those who think that others can survive without them are even more in error. — Hasidic Folk Saying
- It is not your duty to complete the work, but neither are you excused from it. — Pirke Avot
- How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. — Anne Frank
Shalom…from the Shabbat Lady.
Laura Seymour is director of Camping Services at the Aaron Family JCC.