Chabad of Poway -A special tribute to the victims and their families


Am Yisrael Chai

To Chabad of Poway

A special tribute to the victims and their families

If you have not done so already, this blog is to be read after reading my first blog which was published Yud Aleph Nissan entitled- Flight 93- Why Is This Flight Different From All Other Flights?

I have watched the video of Lori’s funeral. I was extremely touched by all of the speakers and gained a greater understanding of who Lori was and what she stood for. I wanted to come to your shiva house and be there to give your family my condolences but I live in Israel.

So from Eretz Yisrael, the country Lori loved so much, I wish to convey to you a special message of peace and love on earth that was Lori’s world which husband Howard told everyone during his speech. I purposely waited to write and post my second blog because of what Rabbi Cunin said at the funeral – “This Is for Lori”

I never really fully identified myself in my first blog, so before I continue, I want to say a bit more. I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the 5th Congressional District is located. Our family was raised conservative in the suburb of St. Louis Park, which was made famous in the Coen brothers movie “A Serious Man”.

I was able to connect with the Roberts family in St. Louis Park, and then would also spend Shabbat in St. Paul at Lubavitch House, from where Beit Chana, Rabbi Moshe and Mindy Feller and Rabbi Manis Friedman began spreading the Rebbe’s message..

Just like it was said after the attack, “this is not Poway” so to, the label the FBI places on Minnesota’s 5th congressional district as being the terrorist recruitment capital of the US is also “not Minneapolis”.

This blog is to emphasize the love and peace Lori stood for instead of the hatred toward Jews and Israel that continually is coming out of the mouth of the congresswoman sitting in that seat and so I will continue my story with Lori and Chabad of Poway in mind and the love Lori felt for her fellow Jews and the State of Israel.

Ironically, 8 year old Noya Dahan and her uncle Almog Peretz who moved from Sderot in Israel to come to live in a safer place were the other two victims.

Just after news of the attack broke, I watched Rabbi Goldstein at the news conference from his hospital bed describing the scene of Lori, laying on the floor fatally shot, and her husband Howard, who passed out lying next to her after he tried to revive her. A very touching and tearful scene and then Rabbi Goldstein mentioned daughter Hannah. So I wanted to know how Hannah was reacting to all of this and watched her farewell speech to her mother at Lori’s funeral.

I heard about Hannah but didn’t really know who she was until she spoke. Hannah represents the next generation of what Lori stands for, and she learned a lot from her parents, but suddenly she mentioned that she had her 22nd birthday and I took note.

When Rabbi Goldstein got up to speak, I was interested in what he had to add after his display of Emunah and Bitachon that he showed when describing the attack. He said that Lori was the person responsible for securing the loan to build Chabad of Poway. He continued to describe the events leading to its dedication, which I heard as being in the year 1997 or 22 years ago. that means that Chabad of Poway must have been built around the time Hannah was born.

My wife’s name is also Leah and we made aliyah from South Africa during Parshat Lech Lecha in 1996, which is also 22 years ago.

I was reaching the final stages of finishing my second blog, and was working on a certain section that I had been made aware of many years ago. I thought it was a perfect time to include it. A paper published in Nazi Germany named Der Sturmur and its wicked editor Julius Streicher spewed some of the worse hate and venon against the Jews in all of history.

Just as I was writing this the NY Times published their second such cartoon leading some commentators to call the NY Times the second Der Sturmer. That was quite shocking for me to see what I was writing about suddenly appear in the press just after the terrorist attack. Julius Streicher stood trial in Nurenburg along with 22 other nazis but only 11 were scheduled to face execution by hanging. However, two hours before the sentence was due to be carried out goering committed suicide, so that at the end only 10 descendents of amalek were hung. This fulfilled Esther’s future decree in the Megillah. All of this was reported in special editions of the NY Times and NY Herald Tribune on October 16, 1946.

In the first book of its kind presented to the English speaking Torah public, “the Megillah” the Book of Esther by Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman published by Art scroll in 1976 on page 103 where Esther points out Haman to the king. She says that Haman is “an adversary and an enemy” the commentary offers the following explanation- Esther accused Haman not of being a perpetrator of a sinful act, but of being intrinsically evil. Rather than concerning himself with the welfare of the state, Haman was involving the king in a monstrous crime merely to seek revenge for his own petty hatreds-the commentator is listed as Rav Galico. It’s amazing how well that describes omar.

The reason the number 22 is coming up so frequently is the fact that Julius Streicher was hung 22 years after he began publishing this hateful rubbish. therefore it seems to me Hashem is sending us a powerful message that we must continue analyzing the hidden clues contained in all of these events, the most important of course is why did this have to happen to Lori of all people?

When omar mentioned the song “it’s all about the Benjamins, the release date is august 12, 1997, meaning august 12 this year marks 22 years since its release. In the Megillah, where the hanging of the ten sons is written, the word “V eit” appears separately ten times down the left side, which according to the sages, this implies that another 10 of Hamans descendants will in future be hung, as happened in Nuremberg.

Hitler yemach shemo never hung, so that seemed to imply at some day in the future the modern day version of Haman would suffer the same fate, not by hanging, but by the very same hateful words coming out of her mouth. Since she sits in congress today, in the very same district I grew up in, I can’t think of a better way to send her packing than by kicking out the modern day Haman who really represents hamas, plural for Haman.

Now look at Parshat Beshalach, where we see the miracle of the splitting of the sea. This happened for sure, everyone saw it that was there, and I am sure that if you saw it with your own eyes you would believe in Hashem’s power more than ever. In the Torah, the structure of the song that moshe chose to sing to Hashem takes on a staggered brickwork pattern which, according to many talmudic scholars indicates that not only Haman’s sons but also Haman will have “no way out” of their downfall which has already begun most probably for omar.

So take a look again at the song omar chose and you will see according to wikipedia, it is the third song on the album named no way out . furthermore, the notorious b.i.g. used the slang for the $100 bill on his debut album ready to die

So since we just read this parsha on the seventh day of Pesach in close proximity to the attack that took the precious life of Lori, wounded the rabbi and the two Israelis this sends a strong message. These Israelis had been under attack back home only to flee to safety to the united states of america and be attacked again. With the rabbi seeing a clear miracle then this whole incident could only have been planned, by Hashem. Therefore the song Hashem is here Hashem is there Hashem is truly everywhere applies right in the very shul that once had the composer of that song davening in the same hall the attack took place.

Rabbi Goldstein, you showed a flower and a note at the funeral that Lori had given you just before Lori died. This is a perfect tie in to my first experience with Chabad, when Rabbi Moshe Feller told me to help take down the Sukkah that Chabad had put up on Nicollet Mall, near the same spot that Mary Tyler Moore threw up her hat during the opening segment of the Mary Tyler Moore show.

About six blocks up the same street, my uncle and aunt operated a florist shop known as “Flowers Inc”. Everyone loved them and they loved everyone as well, similar to your community. The reason I mention this is my uncle’s family name was Goldstein as well. They made many close friends; among them were George Mikan and Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

I mention Hubert Humphrey in my previous blog and he is buried in the district omar represents. How ironic, HHH was a fighter for human rights, he helped author the civil rights bill of 1964, he became the first Vice President after JFK was assassinated and he was one of Minnesota’s greatest politicians. Now the woman representing that same district has trouble understanding what her job is all about or that the word care is not spelled cair.

But this is shiva time to mourn with Lori’s family. I am not saying anything further about that evil congresswoman, but I would like to make a few suggestions of how to move forward given that one of our own family members was taken away from us so tragically, since all Jews are one big family.

  1. The Rebbe always told us we are in the army of Hashem!!!!
  2. Women went to public places to hand out shabbat candles
  3. Men went to put tefillin on other men
  4. Signs should be posted on every Chabad house – am yisrael chai – this is for Lori
  5. Chabad is there whenever and wherever you need them. – this is, was and will be Chabad and Lori, I am sure Chabad of Poway will never forget you or let Howard or Hannah down.

Rabbi Goldstein I was listening to the speech Rabbi Jacobson gave to a group of people while Lori’s funeral was taking place, shortly after you spoke to him. He pleaded with everyone not to be silent at this time. We must take action. We must together stand up to hate, we must stand up to anti-semitism, we must stand up to terrorism because we are all in this together. And Rabbi Jacobson told everyone in the audience that a nicer man you can not find, in Rabbi Goldstein, I totally agree.

Because Lori was such a special person and Rabbi Goldstein has such Bitachon and Emunah I have recently thought about an idea that Rabbi Goldstein might be interested in-

We always see a picture of all the Sheluchim at their yearly conference, but what about a video showing all the Chabad houses worldwide? This can be done as part of a worldwide campaign to eliminate hatred, anti.-semitism and terrorism led by Rabbi Yisrael Goldstein and with the slogan “This Is for Lori”

To Dr. Howard and Hannah and all those affected by this tragedy–

May Hashem comfort you among the mourners of Tzion and yYerushalayim

and we should all hope and pray for the imminent coming of Moshiach now!!!!!

About the Author
Born and raised in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. Married to a South African, we lived in Johannesburg from 1979 to 1996. Made Aliyah with our seven children on Parshat Lech Lecha. BSB Accounting Degree from the University of Minnesota. Investment Portfolio Manager and Analyst. Served in the US Army Reserves Semi Retired spending quality time with my wife, children, grandchildren and attend Kollel while analyzing current events as they relate to Torah and Mitzvahs.
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