Jews Helped Raise Money For Torched Mosque $18 At A Time For A Beautiful Reason

The symbolism will put a lump in your throat.

When an overnight fire caused damage to the Islamic Society of Tampa's mosque and community center on February 24, fears that it was an act of arson proved sadly true, according to WTSP.com. But from the ashes, something stronger than hate emerged: a spirit of solidarity, support, and love from the Jewish community, shown in a beautifully symbolic way.

Within hours of the attack, Adeel Karim set up a fundraising account under the name Stand With New Tampa Muslims Against Hate on Launchgood.com. In less than a week, the fundraising goal of $40,000 was exceeded by over 50 percent with three weeks left remaining. But something caught Karim's eye as he looked through the crowdfunding page.

In a Facebook post, he describes his initial confusion.

"I couldn't understand why people were donating in what seemed like weird amounts to the cause. There are sums of 18, 36, 72.00 dollars etc. then I figured out after clicking on the names Avi, Cohen, Gold-stein, Rubin, Fisher...."

That's when it clicked for him.

"Jews donate in multiples of 18 as a form of what is called 'Chai.' It wishes the recipient a long life.

You learn something new every day. The Jewish faith has shown up in force to support our New Tampa Islamic community. I'm floored. #chaidelivered"

This latest act of collective kindness comes as no surprise, for the one truly shining light of hope in the recent increase in highly visible attacks and threats against Jews and Muslims has been the courage of individuals committed to keeping America a free and tolerant country as promised by our founding fathers in The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution and to defending its ideals.

If you'd like to contribute to the Islamic Society of Tampa, you may do so here.

(H/T: JTA.org)

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