Dear brothers and sisters,

We are still in a state of shock about what happened this Shabbat in Chabad of Poway. We found out about it just as we were to start our own Yizkor memorial service.

This one hits particularly close to home, as Devorah grew up just 10 minutes from there. Her family knows everyone involved... Devorah's 8th-grade graduation was in that building... Devorah's brother stayed at Lori Kaye's home a few years ago on Passover.... One of our post-wedding celebrations was in the banquet hall where Rabbi Goldstein was shot...

Though we are in pain, we know that we will stand up and not only heal but grow even stronger. Chabad has been a beacon of light for hundreds of thousands of Jews around the globe in the post Holocaust era bringing an unrepresented global renaissance of Jewish life today. It has been a place of warmth, a safe space for us to come together, celebrate, and support each other. The Rebbe instilled in us time and again an attitude of PTG - Post Traumatic Growth - to rise from our sorrow, march forward and in fact the very consolation comes through continues growth.

In the face of senseless hate, we commit to live proudly as Jews in this country. We believe that love is more powerful than hate. We renew our commitment to establishing a strong, vibrant and proud Jewish community.

I know Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein personally; he is a strong leader and role model, and even while going through this unthinkable tragedy, he is inspiring those of us who are coming to support him!

In an impassioned interview from his hospital bed, Rabbi Goldstein requested that around the nation we should respond with strength and pride - by filling every seat in Shul this Shabbat! This week, Lori can't light her own Shabbat candles. We will come together in solidarity at Chabad and light many candles for Lori this Friday evening at 7pm. It will be accompanied by a taped message from Rabbi Goldstein (before Shabbat), and we will make the traditional Friday evening Kiddush pledging our unwavering commitment to live as a free and fearless nation. Please join us and stand in solidarity.

Give your child a hug, bring them to shul and demonstrate that Judaism is a full of vitality and love!

On a personal level, I want to take a moment to thank all those who reached out to express solidarity with Devorah and me and our Chabad family. it is heartfelt and very much appreciated. A special thank you to the Petaluma Police Department who has been in touch with us as well and visited Chabad on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

I look forward to being in touch for happy news and Simchas from now on!

I will conclude with the words of Rabbi Goldstein to his congregation moments after being shot “We are strong. We are united. They can’t break us! Am Yisroel Chai!"

Much Love, and prayers for peace,
Rabbi Dovid Bush