The world is filled with suffering. Some far away and some right here in our own backyards. In Judaism, we believe that we are not permitted to simply accept this suffering as “the way things are”. Rather, we must be the people who go out and alleviate suffering to make the world that is, much closer to the world that ought 
to be.  

That is how we shine our light in a dark world. 

It has been a tough few weeks for people from the Jewish community who have had to confront the reality of overt antisemitism in the progressive western world unlike ever before in our lifetimes. Open calls for the annihilation of the Jewish people and the Jewish state have become normalized in places that would have never uttered an antisemitic word openly, a few short years ago. Jews around the world fear for their personal safety in their city streets, on university campuses, and at Jewish gathering places and businesses.  

So how do we shine a light right now? How do we pull ourselves out of the fear, sadness, and sense of futility that many are feeling right now? 

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks explains the Jewish value of the individual human life best when he says: “One life is like a universe. If you can change one life for the better, you begin to change the whole universe.” So, when we feel small and ineffectual in our big world, we remind ourselves of the power we have when we help just one person. 

This is the central tenet on which we operate at Ve’ahavta – that the way to end the overwhelming problem of poverty, is one person at a time. Each time we show love and compassion, genuine respect and care for people, we enable them to tap into their inner resources, restore their hope, and draw on their resiliency to change their lives. They, in turn, change the lives of their children, and so it goes. Helping one person has the power to break the cycle of poverty.  

Change happens one person at a time. 

So, if you yourself have been feeling the strain of the last few weeks, I encourage you to go out and help one person today. Whether it is reaching out to someone you know, or it is helping Ve’ahavta with a donation or volunteering in one of our many programs. In helping just one person, you really do bring change to the entire world. 

Thank you,

Cari Kozierok,
Executive Director, Ve’ahavta

Help one person right now.


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