Giving To Others Not Only When Its Comfortable - -

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Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 14-17
Group Size: 10-30
Estimated Time: 45 minutes

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Resource Goal


The chanichim will understand the importance of giving to others not only when its comfortable and easy for them but also when its hard and they need to sacrifice of ourselves for others.

Resource Contents

Peula in memory of Rabbi Gabriel and Rivkah Holtzberg


The chanichim will understand the importance of giving to others not only when its comfortable and easy for them but also when its hard and they need to sacrifice of ourselves for others.


We tell the Chanichim that they are residents of an apartment building; each person gets a card with his\hers personality (attached are 6 characters, you can add more or give each couple one character) in a different color and the owner of the building (the Madrich) calls them all in for a meeting. He tells them that his sister, kate, with her three kids, had lived in New Orleans till not long ago, but the Hurricane Katrina destroyed they house and all she had. So according to the contract they all signed if any emergency happens to the owner or his family, if asked they must leave the house immediately. He asks them to take a minute and think of why they should and should not be the ones to leave the house.

You then go round the room and every character has to explain to the rest who they are and the reasons why they should or should not leave. At this point there are no discussions.

The next stage is for them to decide together who should be the one to leave, the madrich should encourage a discussion between the whole group.

After they have reached a decision you take a vote. Each person gets a card in each color and has to pick up the color of the person he\she should leave and explain shortly why.

After all this the madrich poses a question- In reaching a decsision, who here thought about themselves and who didnt think at all about themselves.

Then give out the letter written by a Gedalia Lowenstein a Shaliach Chabbad in Philadelphia. (attached). Read it out loud to everyone.


Talk about Chabbad and their Shlichim around the world and how they give up everything; sacrifice their own personal comfort and a normal life for others. People they dont even know, all around the world. Years and years in distant places and hard conditions.

Also add the Holtzbergs personal story to make it more personal and close to heart. (for more information)


You are an elderly women who has been living in the building for years, even before the owner came in. all your children and grand-children live away from you. Your husband died ten years ago and you are wheel-chair bound.

You are a new immigrant from Russia, 20 year old. Left your house to go and make money in America and send it back home to your elderly parents. You go to college every day and work nights as a security guard of the building. You dont pay for the apartment because you work there and you know you cant find anything better.

You are a young couple who just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Hes four months old. Your wife is in college in her final year of learning medicine and you are a starting lawyer. You moved far away from home to start your life in the city.

You are a family of two kids. A boy of 12 and a girl of 8. Your husband is a chef in a fancy restaurant and you work in real estate. You have other apartments in Miami and L.A but your main house is in the building. You help to keep the building clean and renovated and personally pay for any construction that needs to be done. Youre very generous to the others in the building.

You are a single man in your late thirties. Youre a devoted teacher in a public school and organize activities for the children in the building every now and then. You were never married. You live for your students and for helping others.

You are a single mom with three kids. A girl of 4 and twins of 2. You struggle to finish the month, Work in three jobs and spend all your money on the rent, the kids and babysitters. You hardly leave the building and if so its to visit your brothers family who live around the block in a small apartment.

A letter by Gedalia Lowenstein. Shaliach Chabbad in Philadelphia.

I recently received confirmation that some very good people halfway across the world are dead, and I feel like it happened to me. Any peace-loving member of the Jewish community can hardly help but feel the same.

It is not that I haven't been close to terror in the past. A bus in Jerusalem that my parents often take was destroyed earlier this year. My wife was working on Wall Street, six months pregnant with our first child, on Sept. 11, 2001. We all hear about terror, murder and killing often, both here and abroad. But the attack in Mumbai, India, was different. It isn't just because I am Jewish, as was Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, the director of the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Center that came under attack in Mumbai. Nor is it because I am a Chabad rabbi, trained in some of the same rabbinical schools. Nor is it just because I have chosen a lifestyle that mirrors his. It's because of what this family did and represented. Leaders of the international Jewish community constantly meet and have conferences about not losing young Jews. This couple did the work that many just talk about. The Holtzbergs moved to a city far from where they grew up or had any sort of support system. Their financial backing was minimal. Their goal was simply to be there for the people who needed them.

In their case, that meant visiting Jewish businessmen, Israeli backpackers, and the entire assortment of local and international people that make up a community. To appreciate the magnitude of this tragedy, one need only look at the terrorists' objectives. While they were certainly trying to instill terror in locals and tourists, they found time to gather intelligence on this small Jewish community center. It is neither the only synagogue in Mumbai, nor the most prestigious. They were not targeting one type of Jew, religious or otherwise. Rather, they saw that this was a Jewish hub for all. This was a place where all

Jews were welcome, without preconditions. No other reason This was not a place that was known for its politics, but rather for its acceptance of different political views. Like Daniel Pearl, the journalist, this family was killed by the terrorists for the sole crime

of being Jewish, and for no other reason.

This was what they attempted to eradicate: freedom and peace, and the right simply to be Jews. Did they succeed? Not if we use this as an opportunity to focus less on the labels that we often attach to ourselves and others, and more on the essential goodness of each other.

Here was a family that decided to be on the front lines of Judaism. They truly cared, and they proved it by the way they lived their lives. Let us honor the memory of Gabi and Rivki Holtzberg by becoming better people. And if you are Jewish, be a better Jew.

Let's focus more on the potential in each other, and less on names and borders. Let us be more open and accepting of people as individuals with limitless potential.

In the memory of the Holtzbergs, let us all make the commitment to become better people, and to never let any terrorist take that away from the world.

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