Ahavas Sholom – an Historic Landmark and Sacred Space

Newark's Last Remaining Synagogue born of the Great European Migration at the turn of the 20th Century

145 Broadway, Newark, NJ 07104
Phone: 973-485-2609 | Email: cahavassholom@optimum.net


Ahavat Yisrael by Hooshmand Delshad

Albert Einstein once said, “Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”

This task begins with us, our family, our community, our friends, and ultimately the entire world.

We have term for Jews embracing the entire Jewish people, Ahavat Yisrael “Love for your fellow Jew.”

The unity of Israel begins inside of ourselves, with the discovery of the harmony between our brain and heart, and between our mind, body, and soul.

Today we have the G-d given opportunity to be able to cast light on all of those parts.

Unity is the true reality of who we are. We live in a time when we can no longer afford to be separate from our community.

Yes, we the Jewish people are not a people who agree with each other about everything.  We have disagreements. We don’t have the same mind set.  People come from different backgrounds, and each has his or her own beliefs.

Disagreeing with each other should not be a problem.  Anyone who has looked at one page of Talmud knows that every page of the 1000 pages of Talmud is filled with debate, arguments, and different opinions.  However, these disagreements did not create hate and negativity.  All of the points of view expressed in the Talmud are seen as the words of the living G-d and all of the arguments are seen as being for the sake of heaven and truth.

What destroys us as a people, is when we cannot communicate with each other, when we do not support each other, when we undermine each other, and when we don’t have each other’s back.

What has allowed us to survive almost 4000 years, when in every century someone or some government rose up to destroy the people ISRAEL.

However, where are our enemies from the past?  Where is Egyptian empire?  Where is the Assyrian empire?  Where is the Persian empire?  Where is the Greek empire?  Where is the Roman empire?  Where are they?

They are all in dust bin of history, and only continue to exist in our history books.

Where are the Jewish people?

We have not only survived, but we also strived.

So, what is the secret to our survival?

We remained connected, loyal, and supportive of each other.

This does not mean we got rid of all of our personality and difference.

Each of us is who we are, but on a deeper soul level, our separations are an illusion.

We must strive to avoid the negativity. If argument is love and support, everything changes.

The book of Bereshit (Genesis) is essentially about sibling rivalry, but it progresses.  The first two brothers, Cain and Able are the children of Adam and Eve.  They don’t get along and Cain murders Able.  The story of the first family is also about murder and hate.

Cain asked, “Am I my brother keeper?” when G-d asked him, “Where is your brother?”

It continues with Abraham had two sons, Issacs and Ishmael, and Ishmael ends up being expelled from the home of Avraham and Sara.

In the next generation, Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau. Jacob buys the birth right from Essau and steals the blessing that Isaac wanted to give Esau. Two decades later the brothers meet, kiss each other, cry, but then separate.

Then Jacob/Israel has 12 sons, Joseph and his 11 brothers.  The brothers are jealous of Joseph.  They try to kill him and ultimately sell him into slavery. Twenty-two years later they meet again. Joseph, who is now the second most powerful person in Egypt, after Pharoah, reveals his identity to them, comforts them, and brings them to Egypt.  He allows his brothers to live in comfort in Egypt, even after their father’s death. 

Then, in the book of Shemot (Exodus), Moses and Aron are two brothers, who not only get along with each other, they love each other, and they both become prophets of G-d and the Jewish people.

So, the lesson is, if you want to change the world you have to learn to get along with each other.

Cain asked, “Am I my brother keeper?”

Joseph, looking for his brothers in the field and becoming lost, tells a man he meets,” I am searching for my brothers.”


We cannot afford to live in separation and negativity, harming each other, with a lack of love, a lack of respect, a lack of appreciation, and a lack of ability to celebrate, forgive, and enjoy each other.

It does not mean we don’t have different paths, different tastes, and different flavors, but it does mean we can get rid ourselves of hate, negativity, and jealousy.

In this generation, we cannot afford to lose any talent, we cannot afford to lose any light. So, we should praise others, so they can see the light in themselves, and we should believe in others so that they can believe in themselves.

Our children are gems and G-d’s light.  Our task, our role is to let them see who they are.

Leadership is when I can become a mirror for my children and my community that so can get to know who they are.

Parents, don’t only love your children, be proud of them, and help them to be proud of themselves and appreciate their infinite value.

It is a corner stone of Judaism that there is something that only you can complete in this world, that nobody ever living before you or after you, will be able to complete.

The day you were born G-d said the world is incomplete without you.

It is not just true about great rabbis, but the Mishna says it is true about every person, every child, every man and woman.

Each and every one of us is absolutely necessary and if you don’t see it this way, then you need to rediscover who you are.  Every person is an ambassador of G-d.

The Mishna says that the Jewish people were given a mandate, not just to influence each other hut to influence the whole world, and give humanity the gift of the seven Noahide laws.

We are the voice of Sinai, a voice for morality, civilization, kindness, goodness, and truth.

So, let’s cherish our opportunity.  This is the time for love and unity within our self, with our family, our community, and all our people, to become one, and empower ourselves and empower others.

This is the time that G-d allowed us to feel oneness and inspire our brothers and sisters to embrace the gift of truth.