A sanctuary, though hard, even there…

Vigil For Victims Of Sandy Hook School Shooting - WashingtonIt arrives. Punctual as a Swiss watch, as the sunset in the morning and hunger after a long fast, with the first discovery of evil. That sentence. “The world is not nice as you wanted me to believe”. It’s my child who is growing up. And I shut up. Hit by the deepness of his thought, by his fear of evil, by his dropping down of trust in tomorrow, I stop and think. I think about how we sorrounded him only with kosher animals in the crib. I think how his lullaby was composed only by Jewish words and chassidic notes. I think about the strictly kosher food which we allow to enter in his mouth. About the pictures with Jewish images hanging on his bed. I think how we tried our best, since the first day of life, to surround every child with Torah words. How we do our best to make them chew only good, positive, light and love. How we shut up our mouths preventing bad news to reach their ears, hoping they do not loose their faith in this world. How we hide newspapers with cruel images in the first page, hoping that they will go to sleep thinking this life is nothing but a marvellous trip. How we whisper and share through codes, sad events, justifying our unhappy eyes with a terrible headache due to a heavy day. But then, during time, the unavoidable happens and the magic gets broken. News about another tragedy run faster than our trials to hide them once again. Those tiny faces of children unaware of the shortness of their lives, bring to the arousal of the deep sentence. “The world is not nice as you wanted me to believe.” My dear love, that sanctuary I tried to build around you during all these years, is not always there outside. Sometimes there are events we cannot change or influence at all. When these happen we just have to look for enough strenght to go on and pray. Other times even a tiny gesture can change all the scenario bringing back hope. That tiny gesture is able to remind us we have the braveness after all. My dear love, that sanctuary can be found even there outside. In the midst of horror, of a tragedy without any reason, in the screams due to pain. That sanctuary is there, in that teacher, Victoria Soto, who gave up to her own life trying to save her little students. That sanctuary is there, in those Sandy Hook school teachers, who lost their lives in the trial to make their students go on and believe in them. My dear love, that sanctuary will be even there. If you and me and everyone else, will not give up and will go on and believe. That with responsibility and commitment of all of us, even from the deepest dark, a perfect sanctuary can arise.

Gheula Canarutto Nemni

A little little drop…

candle flameI’m here. Alone. Almost everything was destroyed by the war. I have nothing to do but wait. Hope. And, though opposite to my nature, pray. Silence is all round me. And seems to bear not so good news. Then suddenly I hear them. Steps on the ground. Songs. Happy and joyful exclamations to G-d. I would like so much to be part of this special moment. But I cannot move.
They could do it. The Maccabees won. That small and brave group of fighters could overcome the enemy. Those non Jews who wanted to destroy the Jewish nation physically annihilating it spiritually. They won against those people, part of their own nation, who saw in the Hellenization of their tradition, in assimilation and furthering from religion, a way for modernity and emancipation.
They could do it. And now they are celebrating. In their typical Jewish way of doing it. No heavy drinks or revenge shouting. Only run to the Sanctuary with one sole intention. To relight and give again life to that candelabra called Menorah which light is stronger than walls and barriers and arrives to make brighter the exterior world.
I can see them. Looking for a small bottle oil still sealed and pure. They could use the open one, they are in war after all. And there are special laws for these tough periods. But they don’t want. To compromise with Law. After all these fights against those who wished to erase their tradition, their Torah, their soul, they are not ready to loosen the rules. They fought until now for showing they do not want to bend G-d’s will to human comforts.
“Finally!” shouts a man while taking me in his hands and making me see the light after a long period during which I was hidden here. “A pure oil bottle!” And everyone runs towards us. They touch me, they turn me in their hands, they check me. And then they all agree. “It’s pure” they announce. They pour me drop by drop, paying attention not to waste anything of me, in the Menorah.
“It will last for only one day” they sadly say.
But G-d, who sits there above just waiting for a sign of love from one of His sons, is giving me life hour after hour.
“You are the flame of hope” whispers one of the Maccabees when he sees me still shining. “You are the symbol of the eternity of Judaism” says his brother drying the tears from his eyes.
After eight days my task in this world is coming to its end. I am going to extinguish and leaving the place to the new pure oil just produced.
While my flame is consuming its last dose of oxygen and air I want to thank G-d for this luck of mine. I was part of this story of a battle against evil won by good. I had the honor of bringing in the future centuries and years the Jewish hymn.
That reminds every day the power of a little little light. Able to fight the most mean and deep dark.

Happy Chanukà!
Gheula Canarutto Nemni

When a Rebbe changed a world

It was not easy to stand for 10-12 hours, smiling at and blessing the person who was standing in front, as it was the first and only one. While there, just behind that man or woman, the was a queue that arrived four blocks further.

Being a leader means giving a special value to each person.

It was not simple to receive hundred and hundred of letters every day and answer to each one as it was written by your best friend.

Being a leader means being able to listen.

It wasn’t usual to send just married couples at the other limit of the world with the only goal to awaken and renew judaism between people who forgot who they are.

Being a leader means to be able to convince people they can really change the world.

Not everybody accepted the idea of putting tfilin around an arm able to bring non kosher food to its mouth and switch a light during shabat. An arm so important as the person to whom it belonged only because it was jew.

Being a leader means to love everybody and not judging anybody.

It was not a common scene to see prime ministers, presidents, generals and scientist all coming to take an advice from the same person. Who usually was not even graduated in the topic he was giving precious advices about.

Being a leader means to be searched for your wisdom and ability to solve impossible problems.

Not everybody is able to pray for the sake and healing of people never seen before. With the same concentration and devotion as a father does for his son.

Being a leader means to care for every single member of the group. More than for you.

Not everybody had the courage to speak and shout about the right of Israel to keep all its lands for itself. And the absolute danger there is in giving a piece of land in change of something our enemies really don’t want. Though international pressure and political wars, Israel had to stand for its right to exist without compromises and mean ways.

Being a leader means to do something that most of the people are scared to do.

No one was speaking of mashiach, of better times, of prophecies becoming true of bottons to shine as the last step for the redemption.

Being a leader means to have a vision and being able to share it with the whole world.

Leaders are there because there is work to do.

There are people who need, problems to solve.

Challenges to undertake, dreams to be shared.

Leaders know when it’s time to light on a candle instead of staying there criticizing the dark that is everywhere.

A leader is there 24/24, 7/7 to serve his people.

These are only a few features of a person who dedicated every minute of his life to make this world a dwell for G-d and a better place for life.

Rebbe, may we deserve to see you again with our flesh eyes.

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