A Light in the Darkness

October 13, 2023

“Even in the darkest place, the light of a single candle can be seen far and wide.” 

— Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson

I have yet to find words to explain my emotions this week. Like all of you, I’ve experienced shock and disbelief, sadness and anger.

I’ve had to make decisions about communications, about security, and about how to discuss this tragedy with students in developmentally appropriate ways.

I’ve worried about our Israeli teachers and families, and about their families. My heart has been warmed by non-Jewish colleagues who checked in — like the owner of the company that cleans our building (see quote of the week) — and disappointed by those who did not.

But your children have been a light in the darkness.  

I should not be surprised. We’ve raised them to be leaders and change agents, to seek solutions. Over the course of this week, students in each grade have grappled with how they can be supportive to Israel, to its soldiers, to their Israeli friends and teachers, and to each other. They’ve written cards and prayers.

They wore blue and white in solidarity Tuesday, and led the St. Louis community in Oseh Shalom on Wednesday.

Third graders had the idea that singing songs for peace over the loud speaker might raise spirits at Mirowitz.

That tradition will continue indefinitely, and we’re sending videos of the songs to our partner region in Israel. (Watch here.)

And yesterday, some of our youngest students thought it would be nice to invite families to send in photos of people they love who are in Israel. Today, we set up a table in the lobby and invite you to bring in printed photos of those you love who are in Israel.

So we head into Shabbat with broken hearts, but knowing there is light in the darkness. We pray for each brave Israeli soldier, for the return of hostages, for the complete recovery of those wounded, for the comfort of families upended, for a quick and decisive defeat of the terrorist onslaught, and for peace to come speedily to all Israel.

Am Yisrael Chai and Shabbat Shalom,

Morah Raquel