My cousin, rabbi Heshie Billet, is a rabbi in Woodmere on Long Island. He sent the following letter to his congregation after the storm on Sunday.
We hope everyone is OK in body and spirit. We tried to walk to Shul this morning. But we did not succeed. We like many of you have been flooded, lost both our cars, lost our power, many of our basement valuables like our books, photo albums, computer, and things on our entrance floor. Our good memories are engraved in the VCR in our minds.
That said, we are in very good spirits. We are fine. We had a minyan on our block this morning, we have food and water, and we have life and B"H we are healthy.
We have no flood insurance. But we are upbeat about the prospects of replacing what we can.
In our family we have a slogan about material losses: "it is only money". We learned the hard and painful way that there are things far more precious than possessions. Material items are a transient gift of the Ribbono Shel Olam. We cherish our family, our community (YIW, all the other Shuls and schools), our friends and the privilege to be part of Am Yisrael. So keep a positive spirit. This too shall pass.
We will see you in Shul as soon as we get a row boat. Does anyone know if Sandy is male or female?