I saw a poster over the weekend which read: A Kaleidoscope can be compared to Life, you shake it a little and suddenly you have many new patterns. We all pray for the survival of the passengers on the Malaysian plane that went down over the weekend. I couldn’t help but worry about the effect that this will have on the families of the victims. Many of the girls at Lev Lalev have been affected by tragedies which have shaken their lives in an instant. Some of our girls became orphans after their one surviving parent was killed in a terrorist attack or army maneuver. Others came to the Home after a parent died of a dreaded illness. Others came to us after their father was incarcerated. The picture is not pretty. What is heartwarming is the response of people throughout the world. Just as we at Lev Lalev Orphanage and Children’s Home in Netanya, Israel have donors from countless numbers of countries, so too, the outpouring of prayers for the Malaysian tragedy have come from all over the world. A poster which has always appealed to me is a bumper sticker which says: Do an act of random kindness today. How profound is this simple statement. You don’t have to know the victim to feel the sense of loss. You don’t have to know the orphan to give Tzedakah. You don’t need to know the family to feel their pain.
This Thursday we observe the Fast of Esther, which precedes the Holiday of Purim. The Fast commemorates and reminds us that Esther and her Uncle Mordechai pleaded with Hashem that the Jewish people should be saved. Prayer, acts of kindness, and charity stand as the tripod of the existential response to tragedy. Let us hope that we always are sensitive to the needs of others.