We began this week with the crushing, devastating news that eleven innocent fellow Jews' lives were so brutally ended in a senseless, anti-semitic attack in Pittsburgh. A somber feeling of solidarity has since spread throughout the entire Jewish world. Mitzvah campaigns, kindness campaigns and other similar responses have come forth from across the globe.

After such a terrible loss, it is moving to see the personal sense of grief expressed by Jews the world over. During a time of such heavy mourning, it can perhaps be of some consolation to know that those who lost their loved ones are not mourning alone. While we cannot relate to or understand their pain, the clear sense of 'Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Lazeh' - all Jews are responsible for one another - has been a small light in this dark week.

There is but one response to such inexplicable darkness, and that is light. This is the response the Jewish people have become all too familiar with.

For a people who has suffered so much over the years - over the past century alone - there is remarkably little sadness on the Jewish calendar. The vast majority of important Jewish events on the calendar are ones of a positive nature, if not joy. It almost seems as if we're a little insensitive to the tens of millions of Jews who lost their lives throughout history, often guilty of no crime other than being Jewish.

The reason for this, ironic as it may be, is because the Jewish response to darkness has always been not to give the darkness a place, but to eradicate it; to replace it with light.

From what I've read about the victims, this is what they would've wanted. They wouldn't want us to add darkness to our lives because they experienced such awful darkness in theirs. They would want us to add light in our lives in their honor and memory, to light candles of light and joy for ourselves, our families, friends and communities, and dispel the darkness that engulfed their lives.

Let us continue this response not only this week, but in the days, weeks, months and years to come. Not light to remember darkness, but light to light up the darkness.

Rabbi Avrohom