In a few days we will celebrate Passover, our holiday which reminds us of the painful experience of our ancient slavery in Egypt, and our joyful redemption. Though these are experiences of long past, our tradition teaches that we must learn because of these ancient events. We must help those who are suffering, because we know what it is like to suffer, "because we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt." Indeed, almost the very first words of our Passover seder are, "let all who are hungry come and eat," thus fulfilling the command to learn from the past.
Many of the Japanese websites have identified basic toiletries and items for women's personal hygiene as especially needed (also diapers for babies and adults, set tissues and wet towels, new towels, and new blankets). We will be collecting these at the JCJ to be sent to the agencies which directly help in the affected areas. (Donations can also be made to the Rabbi's fund, for the purchase of these items.) As we approach Passover, it would be tragic if we did not consider the plight of those suffering as we celebrate.
The faster we work, the sooner we will be able to help those in need. Please make your contribution to our community effort no later than Friday the 22nd (toiletries, etc can also be brought to the synagogue when you come for the seders on the 22 and 23rd). In addition, please also consider making a donation to one of the many organizations directly helping out in Kyushu.