by Menachem Posner – chabad.org
As the Muslim community in Christchurch, New Zealand, grappled with the mass terror shooting in two mosques that claimed 50 lives and left dozens more injured on Friday, they received comfort from the Chabad representative to the country.
Rabbi Mendy Goldstein, co-director of Chabad of New Zealand, flew down from the North Island on Sunday to comfort and console the grieving families and community.
“People were exceedingly grateful to see a rabbi fly in, as well as the Jewish community’s support from all over New Zealand and around the world,” Goldstein told Chabad.org. “In moments like these, we are reminded how united we are. Despite our differences, humanity is one family, and this is what was felt.
“The scourge of terror knows no boundaries. Our response all the more so ought to be boundless love and unity. People are in pain, and we share in that pain. We cannot overestimate the value of every hug, every gesture, and every hand that is extended in support.”
His presence was noted by the mayor of Christchurch, as well as other elected officials. “The recent tragic mosque terror attacks have shown that real faith crosses religious divides,” noted MP Duncan Webb on Twitter, where he posted a picture of the rabbi visiting members of the Muslim community. In addition to providing words of comfort, the rabbi distributed candies, which he arranged for Air New Zealand to donate, to the children.
As the week progressed, Jewish delegations from Auckland and Wellington also came to extend their communities’ condolences.