The Rabbinical Alliance of America—Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis—joins New York City in mourning the nineteen people, including nine children, who died in a Bronx fire. More than 60 were injured, and those with life-threatening injuries were taken to five Bronx hospitals. Roughly 200 firefighters battled the blaze, officials said. Officials described this fire as among the city’s worst in recent years. Mayor Eric Adams said, “The numbers are horrific… [t]his is going to be one of the worst fires that we have witnessed during modern times.” Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro stated that “the smoke conditions in this building were unprecedented.” In a horrifying scene, fire department crews entering the building found victims “on every floor” and were taking them out in “cardiac and respiratory arrest,” he said.

Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, shared words of grief and comfort. “Words cannot express our grief over the tragic fire in the Bronx that has so far claimed the lives of nineteen people, including nine children who were deprived of the opportunity of enjoying life. We mourn together with the families and communities that lost so many precious souls. Why a tragedy occurs and why good, innocent people suffer are difficult religious questions for which the limited human mind cannot provide adequate answers. However, one thing is clear: we must learn from this tragedy how short and fleeting life is in this world and how much we must value our friends and loved ones, and the precious gift called life. We must learn how to make this world a better place for all people. We must engage in dialogue and help people find meaning in life. We cannot sit idle when tragedy strikes, but rather we must rise up and react with a positive solution. We must educate our fellow residents of this great city that what connects us as people is far stronger and greater than what divides and separates us. We all want to make the most of our lives, we all have dreams and aspirations. We must put aside our differences and work together to guarantee that all people can fairly and equally find peace and meaning in their lives. In mourning these victims, we must make the world a better place for all people; we must do so with word, action and deeds.

“Therefore, the Rabbinical Alliance of America encourages all the good people of this city and this country to honor the memory of the victims of this tragic fire by engaging in acts of kindness, charity and good will. Let us all, as individuals, enhance the lives of others and, in the process, transform ourselves into better people. This will honor the victims’ memory so that they will not have perished in vain.”

May He who makes peace in His heavens spread His canopy of peace, love and unity on this world. May He bless us that we should not again know of such tragedies anymore.