I had lots to write about this week. After all, it's the first day of Adar II—the month of joy, the month of Purim, of celebration and redemption. There's so much to talk about and analyze: why we should be happy, what true joy means, how we celebrate.

But then came news of the attack in Jerusalem earlier tonight. Details are still sketchy, but this we know: Eight teenagers were murdered. Barely teenagers, children aged 15 and 16. Murdered, shot to death at close range in cold blood.

They must have been in a gang, right? They must have somehow been involved in a violent lifestyle. They must have been the oppressors of poor indigent people.

These were children in a yeshiva. A yeshiva I know. A yeshiva that some of our alumni, USC graduates, have studied in.

And these children were studying in the library, by one report. Or sitting in the dining hall, engaged in celebrating the new month of Adar.

He hated me and you. And he tried to kill me and you And someone hated them enough, someone hated us enough, to walk in to that room, to pull out a rifle and a hand gun, and to spray the room with bullets. And then to walk over to where individuals dove for cover, and one by one shoot people in the head.

He didn't hate them. They had never done anything to him personally. They were engaged in the most innocent and holy of activities. But he hated what they represented. He hated me and you. And he tried to kill me and you. And in doing so, he succeeded in killing eight of our little brothers.

I know I may be sounding morbid. I can't help it. The more you think about something like this, the more emotions overtake you. The less rational you can be.

And as always, we search for guidance. How do we react? Do we cancel the celebrations of Adar and Purim, choosing to express ourselves through mourning and grief? Do we cry out for vengeance? Do we just give up in despair?

I'm not going to look up the exact details of the incident I am about to share with you. Because I am not in a speechwriting mood tonight. Because the point I'd like to share is the concept, not the specifics.

In the fledgling town of Kfar Chabad, a little bit over 50 years ago, a school was founded for poor children of immigrants. One day, in middle of the daily prayers, terrorists assaulted the defenseless school, and brutally killed five of the students praying—along with their teacher who attempted to shield them with his own body, his own life.

The telegram's gist was three words: "Behemshech habinyan tinacheimu" The entire country was in shock. But the residents of the town, people who had just recently fled the horrors of Nazi and Stalinist persecution, were completely paralyzed. How could this happen here, in the Holy Land, in the Jewish homeland?

As chassidim, they turned to the Lubavitcher Rebbe for guidance. Several days of silence ensued. And then the Rebbe responded with a telegram. Its gist was contained in three simple words. "Behemshech habinyan tinacheimu." In the continuation of your building you will be consoled.

Now I did look it up. Click here to read the article from Yediot Acharonot – an Israeli daily.

Judaism believes in tears. We believe in crying and expressing our grief when tragedy strikes home. And how can it not strike home tonight?

But we do not believe in paralysis. We do not believe in despair. We believe that grief is assuaged – and actualized and given meaning – by continued growth. By commemoration. By building.

So should we cancel our celebration of Adar and Purim? No. On the contrary! We celebrate life. We celebrate the lives of the children who were lost. We grieve for them, and yet we celebrate. We sow with tears and we will reap with joy. We celebrate with tears, and cry with the joy of the meaning we will find. We will make the lives of those students meaningful. We will continue to tap in to the very faith, the very celebration, the very joy that the enemy attempts to extinguish.

We grieve for them, and yet we celebrate. We sow with tears and we will reap with joyAnd we will show that it cannot be extinguished. Because it is eternal and infinite.

Judaism teaches that added meaning is found in the combined actions of many individuals. I encourage you to make a difference. Don't just read the news reports and feel a moment of anger, or sadness, or grief, or despair. Translate that emotion into action—into continued building. Do a mitzvah in memory of the deceased, in the merit of the wounded. Change your life in some small but meaningful way. And that change, that action, will bring the only possible consolation—the consolation of overcoming negativity, terror, and destruction. The consolation of continued building, of making the world a better place.

May we speedily merit seeing the fulfillment of the prophecy, "and G‑d will wipe away the tears from upon every face"; the time of true consolation and celebration when "the spirit of impurity will be banished from the land" and we shall celebrate a truly changed and better world—with the coming of Moshiach now!