Parshat Shemot: "Je Suis Charlie"

Parshat Shemot: "Je Suis Charlie"

Survivors who were taken hostage at the Hyper Cacher market after police stormed the store.

by Chanie Zaklikovsky - Monroe Township, NJ

January 9, 2015

Editor's note: This afternoon’s tragic developments at the kosher market in Paris, following three days of madness in France that began with the massacre on Wednesday of the editorial team at Charlie Hebdo, will be very much the topic of conversation this weekend. If nothing else, it remind us of what we share with all humanity: the need for light in the face of darkness, goodness in the face of evil. 

Chanie Zaklikovsky, Chabad representative to Monroe Township, NJ, sent the following email out to her community this morning. felt it deserved to be shared with our readers. Wishing you all a Shabbat of comfort and peace. 

My name is Chanie. I am named after a famous Chabad ladyRebbetzin Chana, mother of the Rebbe. Over the many years that I wear this name, I have been called Cheney, Connie or my favorite Honey, and, although it seems hard for the average American to pronounce, I am proud to wear the name. My Jewish and Hebrew name.

Names are important. They tell us a lot about ourselves and our roots. In fact, our Torah Portion is called "Names" this week. If you read the story, you would not hear a lot about names. It is the beginnings of the story of the Exodus, featuring a wicked Pharoh, a baby Moses, Hebrew slaves, lots of hard work, torture and tears.

If I had to choose a title, I might call it "Years of Slavery" or "The Bitter Beginning." But the title is "Names" and our Rabbis say that it highlights the one defiant act the Hebrews had over their Egyptian taskmastersthey refused to change their names.

"I am Reuben," I am Shimon." I am not a number. I am not a mere peg in the giant wheel of slavery. I am human. I am worthy. I am Jewish. I am Israel.

This week, as the world watched with horror the terror happening in France, the world declares "Je suis Charlie""I am Charlie." They are words of defiance. They are words of humanity. Today, I am not only Chanie. I am Charlie. I am Shmuel, Mordechai, Andrea, Zeri, Noach, Mery, Sara—the hostages in the Kosher Store in Paris.

So I ask you, what is your name?




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