In 1958, after a resident from Kfar Chabad, a village in central Israel, passed away, the Rebbe wrote a letter to their community council, which alluded to a link between the recent loss and an act of violence committed by one of the townspeople against another.

In connection with the undesirable episode that recently took place involving aggression, etc…. I felt the need to write to you about the shocking effects of such an episode:

It is easily observable that since the establishment of Kfar Chabad [in 1949], a special measure of Divine protection prevailed…to the degree that not a single resident of the village had passed away in the interim! The miraculous nature of this phenomenon is self-evident. But since a revelation of Divine compassion requires an appropriate “vessel,” and the “vessel” most conducive to G‑d’s blessing is peace, especially as the leaders of Chabad, in whose spirit the village was founded, gave their lives for the sake of loving their fellow Jew, it is therefore obvious that all residents of the village should take great care to engender peace, unity, and brotherhood….

P.S. Based on the words of the Sages regarding [trying to avert] the negative effects that occur to someone else [who has wronged you], those who were wronged should take upon themselves to increase their mitzvah observance, and it goes without saying to uproot and eradicate any hard feelings they may bear [against those who wronged them], G‑d forbid, G‑d forbid….1

Here, too, the Rebbe made clear that the act of violence was not the cause of death, G‑d forbid, but that the previous absence of disunity had been the merit which ensured a special measure of protection.

The premium that the Rebbe placed on unity and peace was a trademark of his worldview in general.

In 1987, a yeshiva student was traveling by car when his vehicle was struck by a truck, resulting in a terrible accident which severely injured the young man.2

That Shabbat,3 during his address, the Rebbe made reference to the tragedy and said that the way to facilitate Divine blessing and protection is through engendering peace and harmony among G‑d’s children.4

He addressed this issue in a letter he wrote to the residents of Kfar Chabad in the aftermath of a massacre that took place there. At the time, doubts about the town’s future fueled much dispute:

It is obvious, and this is the most fundamental point of all, that the spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood among yourselves must increasingly be nurtured and strengthened…. Even if one strongly believes that his viewpoint is the correct one, and even if, objectively, this is indeed the case, nonetheless, it is more important that he “pass over his emotions,” for the ideal of peace is a tremendous virtue, one which draws down and retains G‑d’s infinite blessings and has the power to make them tangible and manifest in our reality.5

It is only natural that following a loss—especially when it comes to terrorism, which intensifies feelings of insecurity and vulnerability—emotions and passions run high. The result can be friction and confrontation between opinion-holders and decision-makers.

The Rebbe taught that especially after a communal tragedy, it is important that leaders maintain a clarity of purpose, steering their communities toward rebuilding as a cohesive unit, emphasizing the importance of camaraderie and unity as a vehicle for divine blessing, as is highlighted in the words of the Amida prayer, Barchenu avinu kulanu ke’echad, “Bless us, Heavenly Father, [for] we are one.”