Last Sunday, a Kosher supermarket, near where I sometimes shop, burnt down. The owners were left with nothing; no home, no shop, no belongings. Though overshadowed by the much larger scale Grenfell Tower fire which occurred yesterday, claiming numerous lives and injuring dozens, I was unable to stop thinking about either catastrophe. Both tragic. Both terrifying. Both come into the category of ‘my worst nightmare’.
But amidst so much loss and tragedy, there was a small silver lining.
Chesed. Loving kindness. Community spirit. Tzedekah. Call it what you will- it’s beautiful. Just now, I read that the couple whose lives were wrecked when their shop and home burnt down, have been offered a new home and new jobs by a Jewish businessman. Meanwhile, collection points near Grenfell Tower have had to turn away donations due to the staggering amount of items offered by people trying to help.
There’s no possible way we can view these fires as anything but tragedies. So many lives and livelihoods claimed over the course of a few days; so many dreams wrecked and homes destroyed. But alongside the smouldering inferno of flames and smoke which have caused so much havoc, the fire of Torah and the warmth of loving kindness have done their hardest to mitigate the damage. In times like these, every little good deed counts. Every penny donated and every item offered count for something.
May we soon merit to witness the arrival of Moshiach, and an end to all tragedies, speedily and in our days.