Helping the People of Japan
I took a few minutes today and looked through these photos provided by the Washington Post coming from Japan. I looked at the faces of the people as they try to comprehend the immense destruction that has just occurred and the possibility of more in the days to come. I also am so deeply impressed with the aid workers, doctors, and every day volunteers who are risking their lives to help those impacted by this tragedy. Today, I am taking a moment of silence, and I encourage you to do the same, for the thousands of individuals who have lost their lives and for the unfathomable suffering that their families are enduring.
I take a moment to think of Harumi Watanebe, who lost her parents during the flood and barely survived herself, or Choushin Takaski, who watched in pain from his office while outside 13-foot waves hit his town and he was unable to help, or Yoko Abe, who is currently at an emergency center desperately trying to find her parents and older brother.
Yet, it is times like this that the Jewish community comes together and helps out those most in need. Rabbi Tanchum ben Chiyya once said: "In the happy days of your neighbors, be with them in their happiness; if an evil day befalls your neighbor, consider how your can show the neighbor loving kindness to deliver the neighbor from the evil. (Pesikta Kahana 191b). Let us stand with our neighbors in Japan and help them during these days of evil.
The Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief has been established as a partnership of North American Jewish organizations, including the Union for Reform Judaism, to assist the disaster victims. Funds collected by the coalition will be dedicated towards relief and recovery efforts in the affected regions in Japan. Click here to learn more and donate.