For those of us who live in Miami, last week was nothing less than terrifying.
Irma was coming. Get out or else… the evacuations, the warnings, the unknown, the preparations, the running, the packing, the anxiety, the nervousness, the faith, the laughter, the tears, the jokes, the waiting on line 2 hours to fill your car with gas, the gratefulness for finding a gas station with gas, the shopping, the water buying, the storm shutters… you name it, we all did it.
We all waited eagerly for the storm to end. To reach our loved ones and let them know we “weathered the storm” and “danced in the rain”. We thanked Hashem for saving us from what could have been a lot worse.
We all went through thousands of emotions and feelings in one week. Most of us lost electricity and power at least for 1 day. Some are still without power, while food rots and our homes are 100 degrees with a humidity of a gazillion percent. Feels like standing in an oven while its preheating.
The ahavas yisroel display is like something you have never seen. People sleeping on floors and couches of others who have opened their homes to strangers, family, and friends… because they have power. Being able to go somewhere for a shower, a meal, a hug, and know that you have a place to cool off.
The ones with power and electric knowing that if they were blessed to get it back ,it is for sharing with others, and doing it besimcha.
It is still so hot. The streets are still disaster zones. The national guard stands directing traffic and distributing ice to neighborhoods. Stores are just starting to replenish their goods after a whole week. Everyone is still smiling, grateful, and with great attitudes. Thankful for their lives, thankful for their family and thankful to still have a roof, (or at least most of it). The small and large displays of kindness are literally unreal and one more touching than the next.
Meanwhile, families and kids feel displaced. Ois mentch. If you have power and electric, you have as many guests as your average crown heights family does during Tishrei. If you don’t, you are sleeping elsewhere on a floor, a couch, a hotel, or someone’s bathtub, made into a makeshift bed.
However, one act of Ahavas Yisroel stands out in my mind. As a person, a mother, a prior educator and someone who’s husband is in the realm of Shlichus and teaching, i am thoroughly and utterly thankful for the administrators, principals, and teachers of Lubavitch Educational Center for doing everything in their power nonstop to reopen school as soon as possible. What a decision!!!
While most schools in the area and even most of the state of Florida, are probably reopening Monday or maybe Tuesday, our school opened today.
Power was just restored yesterday (and that’s because they had people working nonstop) Teachers, principals, families, and kids are still displaced. Some still with no electricity or hot water, yet they worked tirelessly and made it top priority so our children can get back some semblance of stability and structure.
To me, there is no bigger ahavas yisroel then that.
Putting their needs aside for the sake of the children.
The kids need to learn before Tishrei. They need structure, and friends and a schedule, and our school gave this to us. It would have been so much easier to just say, School closed until further notice, and that would be totally understandable, given the current situation.
However the Rebbe is the prime example of ain davar haomed bifnei haratzon, and when there is a will, there is a way.
Our school is the Rebbe’s mosad, and has shown us that nothing is impossible.
Chinuch is a top priority, that even a hurricane will not stop them from doing everything in their power to make sure the kids are in school learning.
May our growing school be blessed to keep growing mechayil el chayil being an example to all Jewish Schools worldwide.
Sincerely, a grateful parent