"I Didn't Know Them Personally, I Knew the Work They Were Doing . . ."

"I Didn't Know Them Personally, I Knew the Work They Were Doing . . ."

Honolulu, Hawaii

November 30, 2008

The following letter was written by Yolanda Rogers, a mother of three who did not know the Holtzbergs, but was inspired by their dedication to call upon her friends.


Dear friends and family, 

As most of you know Joe and I have spent the last thirteen years instilling Jewish morals, traditions, and knowledge as well as the Jewish way of life to our three children while serving in the US Air Force. No small feat I can assure you! We have done this with virtually no help because we have been stationed at several stateside locations and in foreign countries which did not have ANY Jewish temple, congregation, or even other Jewish families. I have spent countless hours and thousands of dollars in my children's private (Catholic & Lutheran) and public school classrooms teaching their peers about our Jewish faith. All the while instilling in our own children that it's okay to be the only Jewish family in a school of 800. Live and let live, but be true to your faith has been our motto. Going to the Catholic school every Wednesday to take my children to the library to read and study about Jewish life while the other children went to mass is only one example of our commitment to teach our children to be true to G-d as well as their ancestors.  

That all changed when we moved to Hawaii. We were excited to have THREE Jewish congregations to choose from. WOW... What a blessing! We looked into all three congregation's intensively and came away with profound respect and awe of for the Chabad house of Hawaii. To see first hand the work and calling The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel  Schneerson, had on the Jewish people throughout the world is nothing short of amazing. Although we hadn't been around any Jewish leaders or spiritual people since the birth of our children, my family was immediately drawn to this small but welcoming Jewish family, Rabbi Krasnjansky, his beautiful wife Pearl, and their seven children. It was incredible to see an orthodox Jewish congregation and family serving and thriving in Hawaii. 

It saddens and horrifies me that the Chabad house of Mumbai, as well as Rabbi Gavriel and Mrs. Rivkah Holtzberg (his wife), were among the targets in the horrific terrorist bombings that took place in Mumbai, India recently. Although I didn't know them personally I know of the work they were doing and the sacrifices made not only by the Rabbi, his wife, and their child but by their families abroad. Just think of our families and our military spouses that have been or are currently deployed to foreign locations. The lack of family support, personal security, and freedoms of the West is something that most of us can relate to. These people, Chabad Rabbis and their families, are the warriors of Jewish faith.  

Why am I writing this to you? As most of you know I am always quick to support your children's fundraisers for either their sports programs or their private Christian schools. I know that since it is the beginning of the most important holiday season, for the Christian faith, many of you will be looking at making a difference in the lives of others. It is often said to me that many of you hate the commercialism that society and marketing has placed on the spiritual meaning this holiday. I know that many of you will work in soup kitchens and volunteer with your families with service type work. And for many of you that means a donation of some sort. I ask you to consider the orphaned child of Rabbi Gavriel and Mrs. Rivkah Holtzberg and if you can please give a donation to this child. I am constantly reminded of the sacrifice we the military make for our country. I often relate it to the missionary work that several religions use to spread the word of G_d. What a sacrifice all of them make, sometimes with disastrous results. 

I guarantee you that this link to make a donation are legitimate and have been put into place by the Chabad organization.  

I love and miss you all. I cherish our friendship and family ties and want each and everyone of you to know that during this holiday season I will be thinking and praying for each and every one of you. This event has touched me in a way that so many current acts of evil have, with sadness and heartbreak for the people who choose to do the right thing. 

Wishing you all a peaceful and safe Shabbat. 



 Lubavitch.com thanks Mrs. Pearl Krasnjansky for sharing this with our readers.

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