Baltimore, MD - May 27, 2022 - I was once walking through the streets of Yerushalayim with a chassid on a Friday night. A car passed by, and he whispered, “Shabbos, Shabbos, Shabbos.”

At first, I thought I was hearing things but then this continued.

Being a tactless teenager, I turned to him and said, “What on earth are you doing?!”

He explained: “Every car that I see drive by on these holy streets of Yerushalayim desensitize me just a tiny bit to the sanctity of Shabbos. Some people yell and scream, I don’t believe in that. But I also can’t just walk by. So how do I ensure that I remain sensitive to the serenity that Shabbos is meant to entail? Every time I see a car, I whisper, ‘Shabbos, Shabbos, Shabbos.’”


We have witnessed a sickening amount of bloodshed over the last two weeks… we’re outraged, we’re broken, we’re scared, we’re overwhelmed.

Every time this happens again (and may it never happen again), we become just a little more desensitized to this inhumanity. We can’t allow that to happen.

Unfortunately, there’s little each of us can do. The problem is so vast, so complex, so impossible, that it’s easier to just default to ‘thoughts and prayers.’

Don’t get me wrong, as Jews, we believe in thoughts and prayers.

But we also believe in action. Even if it’s not an earth-shattering action. Even if it’s just today, while the feelings of revulsion and sadness are still beating in our hearts. Even if it only helps just ourselves to never allow this to be considered normal. Even if it’s just a whisper.

There are so many ways to whisper.

Light your candles early.

Call your local politicians.

Give some extra Tzedakah.

Hug your children a little tighter.

Reach out to a friend.

Smile at a stranger.

Learn some Torah.

Or maybe just find something uplifting to whisper to yourself, to remind you of our basic goodness and a better future we dream of.

“Good Shabbos, good Shabbos, good Shabbos.”