By Rabbi Eli Rosenfeld*
To my fellow Jews in Cascais and all of Portugal,
The last day and a half, was the the most challenging of my life.
I was awakened by our head of security who came to my house and shared the heartbreaking news with me from Israel.
Without having time to even absorb what I had heard, I arrived to Casa Chabad. With emotions overwhelming our ability to process what was happening, we began to pray. With the tragedy in our thoughts and prayers, We celebrated a Bar Mitzvah boy who received his first Aliyah.
As we watched him make the Torah blessings, we summoned strength to mark this tremendous milestone. Am Yisrael, the Jewish People are in pain, yet Am Yisrael Chai. The Jewish people will continue.
With these feelings we circled the Bima with the Torah's again and again. With our hearts and minds on Israel, or hand held the Torah's tight. Am Yisrael Chai.
This morning we finished the Torah, and in typical Jewish tradition, we immediately began again from the beginning. Am Yisrael Chai.
To the many people who cried with me together, keep strong, Am Yisrael Chai, and each of you are needed.
In the coming days we will share practical measures in how we can help support each other, both here in Portugal and in Israel. We will be also be sharing directives for increased security measures at the Chabad Center and we count on all of your to ensure that we will continue together to heal and be strong. Am Yisrael Chai.
*President of Chabad Portugal