For all my Western Mass. friends, relatives and readers,
Dear Sinai –
The floods that have struck Pakistan constitute what we at Sinai have always defined as a “world crisis.” Lives lost; homes and villages swept away; shortages of food, water, and clothing. Pakistan is a disaster.
PLUS SOMETHING ELSE…
After reading about Pakistan’s plight over a number of days, I suddenly realized that some of our friends here in the Springfield area are involved. I am referring to the members of the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts. Sinai has dialogued with members of the Islamic Society. We have visited their mosque; they have visited us for our worship. I myself meet with leaders of the mosque on a monthly basis at the Interfaith Council of Massachusetts.
And members of the mosque are taking the Pakistan flooding personally.
Some have relatives in the affected areas; others simply feel a sense of solidarity the way we Jews feel solidarity with other Jews around the world.
A final ingredient:
Many of you have probably read about the controversy surrounding the building of a mosque near Ground Zero in Manhattan. I am totally in favor of this initiative. I’ve read about the leader of the mosque. He is a gentleman of impeccable reputation. He has a special interest in interfaith activities.
What’s more, since this is America, it seems incredible that religious freedom would not be extended to those who choose to build a house of worship wherever they wish.
I have to imagine that our friends at the mosque here in Springfield feel horrible when they hear some of the talk against the mosque in New York City. Add that to their concern for their fellow Moslems in Pakistan. And I am feeling that we at Sinai must respond to the flooding.
I’ve spoken to Dr. Bajwa, who is one of the mosque’s leaders, and he tells me that they would welcome contributions for flood relief. (I’ve also checked the charities he mentions and it seems to me that they are bona fide charities to which we would feel comfortable giving.)
SO…MY PROPOSAL…MY REQUEST…
PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TO OUR SINAI TEMPLE WORLD CRISIS FUND TODAY.
ANY AMOUNT WILL DO.
YOU CAN SEND A CHECK TO THE TEMPLE OR GO TO OUR
I thank you for helping Sinai reach out to the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts. I will send our relief check to the Society next week.
Please act quickly.
Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro