“Shalom Sivan,

There was an important event on Motzaei Shabbat from which we can draw inspiration during these challenging times.

Thousands of Jewish youths from all over the world gathered in Times Square in New York City for the Havdalah ceremony following a Shabbat sponsored by  the Chabad for Youth organization.

Two brothers who were at the Nova Festival and managed to survive recited a chapter of psalms with deep emotion, repeated in unison by the assembled crowd. This was followed by shouts of support for the hostages, whose images were projected on a giant screen.

We heard speeches that emphasized how each individual present needed to be an emissary and a leader upon returning home to Toronto, to Texas, or to Tel Aviv.

In my eyes, Havdalah itself was the climax of the evening.  I had never before felt so intensely the power of these words: “Who distinguishes between holy and profane, between light and darkness, between Israel and the nations.”

I hope the video below conveys a little bit of the highly emotional and inspirational experience of last Saturday night in Times Square.”