Opinion: Proud Of Our Community l Avi Gutfreund

There are times when the Orthodox Jewish community makes me well up with pride. There are so many things to be proud of, but there were two stories this week that make that pride so much more intense.

The first was regarding the horrific and tragic story of Rabbi Reuven Bauman whose body had been lost at sea after he drowned helping save a struggling student. In a matter of hours, multiple Jewish organizations, including Lakewood’s Chaveirim and Central Jersey Hatzolah, dispatched tens of thousands of dollars in resources and manpower to go to Virginia and search for the rebbi. From Baltimore to Far Rockaway, hundreds of volunteers converged on the area of his disappearance with boats, jet skis, helicopters and planes – anything to be able to provide a proper Jewish burial to a man they had never even met.

Also in the past week, the parents of a little girl who needed a $2.2 million drug that insurance wouldn’t pay for reached out to the community for help. The funds had to be raised within a few days, before the child’s second birthday, as the FDA only approved the drug for children under the age of two. In about 3 days, the $2.2 million was raised from tens of thousands of people – mostly individuals who don’t know the child or the parents.

With all the issues that we have and the problems we need to deal with, it is heartening to hear, see and be a part of these wonderful stories. It is easy to get caught up in the issues that we as a community have to grapple with. At times it can seem that our pile of problems and dirty laundry are endless.

But it’s important to keep in mind what is quite possibly the best thing about us – our unity. When someone is dealing with a crisis, they have literally hundreds of thousands of people standing with them, helping them, encouraging them, urging them forward.

We usually don’t hear of how people are being helped – our organizations don’t publicize the problems they help with and the crises they solve. They work quietly, without fanfare. And they do an incredible job. And every person in the community is involved with helping others on their own as well.

The two public stories from the past week are but a drop in the bucket with the amount of assistance being provided to others by members of our community. And for that I’m extremely proud.

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. Swell up, you mean. Swell up with pride.
    In an interesting twist, any time you wanna Swell up with pride, you can head over to Kol Shimshon during morning seder hours & see 80 year olds plugging over what was p’shat in toisfos for hours on end. It works for me.
    Try it.
    As for your stories, you’re 100% right – the outpouring of help & love to 2 total strangers is amazing & humbling. As we head intio the 3 weeks, this is an important message & chizzuk for us.
    Thanx for sharing

Comments are closed.