From the desk of Rabbi Leonard(Yehuda)Blank MS.BCC
Director of Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
July 2, 2020

The shloshim for my dear and beloved Ashis Chayil Keila Lutza bas Shalom HaKohein a’h was this past Monday June 29th. I thought, I would be able to share with you many aspects of my wife and our lives together with family these 27 years. However, after having spent hours preparing my speech, and I was the main speaker of the evening following my three stepsons, my son who delivered the hadran and one of my dear son in laws who spoke before me, I am not able to share with you any insights for this newsletter. Beginning that evening my official mourning period ended and now I transition to another part of life.

Once again there are major things happening in the world and in our own neighborhoods. I am not one to get involved in political controversies, but what is happening can have negative relations with those who do not have favorable impression of Jewish affairs or because they have the opinion our country would be better off without police in general. There is an old saying, a few rotten apples spoils the whole barrow. The feeling amongst many in the general public is rather than getting rid of those rotten apple, just spill out all of the apples instead. There is no question there are the rotten apples, but there are so many caring, good natured and civil minded police officers. It really is important to have good relations with other organizations and be mindful of what is said to others who might have a difference of opinion, even if that opinion is not a positive one. Yes, we do live in a democracy where peaceful protests are appropriate, and there is something called freedom of speech. But, we must be mindful of what type of relations we wish to develop and care about. We do have a right to reach out to elected officials to convey ones opinion if the feeling the elected official has taken a direction contrary to what one feels is in the best interest of our Country or of Jewish affairs. In addition to that, it appears that the Coronavirus has returned in many parts of  the USA with a passion. We are grateful that New York and surrounding states are not having the same issues as the other states, but now anyone trying to enter New York and those surrounding states from those states with serious Covid-19 will have to be in self quarantine. There is a concern that the virus should not spread. Yes, there are many changes happening.. We must be thankful for our rabbinical and chaplain organizations that are constantly involved with helping our rabbis and chaplains meeting the challenges facing us,our mispallim, our patients and families every day of the year, More than ever before, we need tremendous achdus, we must find opportunities for shalom and be mispallel that this coming Tisha B Av will truly become a yom tov. For me, though the mourning period is over, but my life, is no longer the same without my wife Keila Lutza bas Shalom HaKohein a’h who brought meaning to my life. She wanted me to continue not just to take care of myself, but to do those things that brought her so much pride and simchas hachayim. I will continue to convey to others to have emunah, faith, hope, ahavas H, ahavas Torah. ahavas Yisrael and to care for and about each other. Most of all to make a Kiddush H however we can. Thank you. Sincerely, Yehuda Blank

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