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Hurricane Sandy: Helping Our Children—and Each Other—Over These Days

Some advice for coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Sandy has hit some of us harder—much harder—than others. Children confronted with personal tragedy or near tragedy, or witnessing it second hand, will often ask their parents “How could God let this happen?” At times like this parents will often turn to clergy for advice. How can they best help their children?

My advice is always the same: Don’t say anything you yourself don’t believe. Most of all at times like this children need to feel safe. Speaking from your own personal place of religious/spiritual conviction will go a long way toward that end.

If your tradition offers more than one way of looking at events such as these, go with the one you feel most authentically aligns with your own personal belief. For instance, there is a statement in the Talmud “Ha’olam mitnaheg k’minhago,” “Nature follows its own course”—and that’s the explanation I give our own children. A warm, wet hurricane met up with a cold, snowy Nor’easter. That’s how it happened. And now our work is to do whatever we can to help each other, house each other, heal each other. (United Jewish Appeal has already established a Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund to which you may donate.)

Some of us have already had our power, light, heat, phone and internet restored. Others of us may be looking at another weekend or even week in the dark. PATCH has been doing a terrific job of keeping us updated on the storm and its aftermath. Check out the “Storm Hub” for your own community. To find out about other communities—in Westchester and in other affected counties and states—go to http://www.patch.com/ and search by state and community.

Pleasantville Community Synagogue is Open. Join us for heat, hugs, and something to eat. Services Friday night at 7:15 p.m., Saturday at 9 a.m. (meditation), Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. (services). Lunch for everyone - members and non-members welcome—with hot coffee and tea, Saturday at Noon.  

Rabbi Mark Sameth is the spiritual leader of Joyful Judaism: Pleasantville Community Synagogue an inclusive, progressive synagogue—with members from 20 towns, villages and cities all across Westchester and “A Hebrew School Your Kids Can Love.” Read The New York Times article. Follow Rabbi Mark on Twitter . Weekly meditation at the synagogue every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. is open to the public; everyone—without exception—is welcome and warmly invited. OUR MEMBERSHIP DRIVE IS ON. See “Top Ten Reasons to Join PCS” at www.ShalomPCS.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rabbi Mark Sameth November 02, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Here’s an update from UJA-Federation on their Hurricane Sandy “Westchester Community Mobilization” effort: There will be two locations for food and supply drop-off: UJA-Federation of New York in Westchester 701 Westchester Avenue White Plains, New York Monday, November 5th through Friday, November 9, 2012 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and UJA-Federation of New York in Northern Westchester 27 Radio Circle Drive Mt. Kisco, New York Monday, November 5th through Wednesday, November 7, 2012 10:00 a.m. — 4:00 p.m. Needed Food Items baby food • boxed milk and coffee creamer • canned fruits and vegetables canned meat and fish • cereal, cookies, and crackers coffee, teas, and hot chocolate • pasta, rice, and instant potatoes ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise • soup and tomato sauce vinegar, oil, and salad dressings • raisins, prunes, dried fruit and nuts, and peanut butter Needed Personal Care Items Toothbrushes, toothpaste, toiletries, diapers, wipes, baby formula, hand sanitizer No glass containers or expired items please. Kosher food is appreciated. For more information on how you can help, or to make a donation to the Hurricane Relief Fund visit www.ujafedny.org. You may also contact Donna Divon at divond@ujafedny.org or 914.761.5100 ext. 130. Thanks for whatever you can do to help! Rabbi Mark Sameth
Sarah Studley November 02, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Thanks so much for the update, Rabbi Sameth!
Léna Roy November 04, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Thank you so much - I love reading your posts and I hope our paths may cross someday!

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