Font Size


Rabbi's Blog

rabbi 05 smallsf badge lgRabbi Joel Landau  ( has been the Rabbi of Adath Israel since May 2013. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem and has served previously as a congregational Rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina and Irvine, California. A full biography of Rabbi Landau is available here.


Baruch Hashem, the first part of last week went very well. Despite the economic challenges that many people are currently facing, we managed to raise $48K from around ninety families for our GivingTuesday fundraiser (see this week's News & Schmooze for the participant list). However, on Thursday morning, G-d decided to throw us a curveball. 

Around 8:15 a.m., while we were in the middle of davening, a huge downpour pummeled the Shul’s roof. Though it drew our attention, we felt safe and sound in the confines of the building. After davening, someone went downstairs to get hot cups and discovered that the entire bottom floor was flooded. The kitchens, bathrooms, social hall and playroom. For some reason, the rainwater was unable to exit through the main sewer line and therefore, backed up through the drains in the kitchen and bathroom, saturating the floors. 

We immediately called a plumber to deal with the pipe as well as a water restoration company to clean up the mess. Luckily, both responded in a timely fashion, and we were able to use the downstairs for Shabbat. Unfortunately, it looks like the floors and the lower part of the walls will have to be replaced, as well as all or part of the sewer line. We’re looking at serious expenses. Hopefully, a significant portion will be covered by our insurance. We should have an idea of what we are looking at in the next few weeks. 

The juxtaposition of the two events last week, a successful fundraiser followed by a flood, reminded me of the words found in the Book of Job: “HaShem natan, v’Hashem lakach, Yehi shem HaShem mevorach”.. the L-rd has given and the L-rd has taken away, blessed be the Name of the L-rd.

The traditional Jewish perspective on life is that everything comes from Hashem. And since Hashem is good, everything that comes from Hashem is good. Many times, we don’t understand how certain things can be considered good, but they really are! Sometimes it becomes apparent later how something we thought was bad was really good. 

Hopefully that will be the case with our flood.