Chabad of Metairie (a large New Orleans suburb now mostly underwater) rabbi Yossi Nemes is trapped in his house. Rather than leaving, Rabbi Nemes decided he and his family would help to shelter people who for whatever reason remained in New Orleans and did not go to the Superdome. Now 13 people are on the second floor of the house, unable to go downstairs or leave because of rising floodwaters, and are running out of water. Rabbi Nemes contacted his parents earlier today to say that everyone was still safe, but time is not on anyone’s side in New Orleans. So please, everyone here, say a prayer for the safety of Rabbi Nemes, his family, and everyone still trapped in the New Orleans area.

Meanwhile, the 11,000 Jews of New Orleans are all homeless and scattered across the country. Please do what you can to help them, materially, spiritually, whatever. New Orleans’ Jewish community is almost three hundred years old – don’t let this be the end of it. You can read updates about the state of the exiled New Orleans Jewish community and about the situation of Rabbi Nemes on Chabad New Orleans rabbi Yochanan Rivkin’s blog here.

Remember: we are all responsible for each other.

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  • Well, the media is aware of him. The JTA and the J-Post both mentioned him. And everybody in Chabad is doubtless aware of him. I’m sure people have alerted the relevant authorities, but he’s not the only person trapped in New Orleans, so it’s matter of waiting.

  • Hashem eitchem and so is my prayer…
    lets hpoe everything will be ok,

    we are truly all responsible for each other.

  • I guess the Torah Class this Saturday is going to be cancelled. Oy. Hope the Rabbi and his flock are going to be ok ….

  • Hey, let’s focus on the protekzia angle here. There must be SOME jewish connection that can be used to direct relief efforts that way…. after all, everybody says we control the world. If this isn’t the time to pull a string or two, what is?

    Not having any pull of my own in this matter, I will do what we all can do – pray.

  • What is your view of the looting and violence there?
    Long links make baby Moses cry. -ed.

    I feel that it is first of all very embarrassing for the USA which tried to show the world how great it is and impose it’s way of life everywhere. Secondly, I feel it is a statement of the economic problems that the people have

  • Jobber, I live in New Orleans, and shallow political analysis does not explain what’s currently happening. While it certainly is a poor city, poverty is no excuse for raiding Wal-Mart’s gun rack and shooting rescue workers, police and helicopters. Being poor should not take away your very humanity, and humanity is exactly what these armed looters lack – they’re animals. Most of the people in New Orleans and elsewhere who are poor would never think of shooting at those trying to help them. Poverty does not give you license to destroy. And they need to send troops in there with riot gear and start blowing off heads, because it’s all people that snipe at rescue workers in boats or lay siege to childrens’ hospitals deserve. What matters now is not that this is “embarrassing for the USA,” what matters now is breaking up those mobs and rescuing the rest of the people before the die. Now.

  • Esther, your link doesn’t work.

    Michael, you’re absolutely right. We’ve just learned we have a friend who is also stuck alone on a second floor with as much fresh water as a bathtub can hold. He has a family who managed to leave before him. I hope he is saved soon.

  • Michael– what’s up with your governor? Yesterday, she seemed to poo-poo the notion that resources should be spent on restoring order and ending looting. Now, resources have to be diverted to deal with the violence. Rudy Guiliani she ain’t…

  • Oh, and agree with you that a Hobbesian breakdown in order requires a like response.

  • I agree Michael, but it is just a sad comment on the society. When I hear all the time about the great USA, this sort of thing should cause those who are so inclined to think about it.
    Yes poverty is not an excuse I agree. I myself, had a situation yesterday, that I took a stand not to be dishonest. I noticed a lady had dropped her purse from the store where I was working p/t. It had fallen towards the curb. I could have let it go unmentioned and play for her not seeing it (likely), and then when she leaves, take it. But I could not be that way. That is, I chose to take a stand for Goodness.
    The looters otoh, it seems that they deliberately stayed behind so they could loot. THat is, they saw an opportunity to enrich themselves, w/ little fear of arrest. So they risked their lives, for the hope of some beers and jewellry. It is a sick choice no question about it.

  • I appreciate your post, but let’s not forget that at times like these, and at all times, all of humanity is responsible for one another. our compassion should go out to Jewish and non-Jewish organizations alike.