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Tables are here!

It was a few months ago that I wrote in this blog about my inspiration to get tables for the Shul, after finding a Shul table from the UK in a friend's house in Victoria.

photo.JPGI'm very pleased to announce that the tables have arrived this week, and if you are going to be from the first 12 men or first 8 women to come to Shul, you'll be comfortably sitting by a table throughout the Services...

This special addition to the Shul was possible due to the generosity of the Shortt and the Pitcher families and the help of the Milotay and Casiro families. We are still short a significant amount to cover them. To help sponsor some of the remaining balance, please email rabbi@telus.net.

How a Chabad Rabbi saved us

We just arrived last night home. We had, thank G-d, an amazing time meeting no less than a hundred relatives during our visit to Detroit and Montreal. It's still very special to be back home, and we are looking forward to seeing each one of you.

On our travels back we had a stop over in Salt Lake City, we were surprised by the flight attendant's order to leave the aircraft, although we were to continue on that same airplane to Seattle. We quickly grabbed our hand luggage and stood right by the gate waiting to be called back in.

Minutes after the plane took off we realized that a bag with very important items, including Chani's computer, Video camera and others was missing. The flight attendant saw the urgency in the matter and had the pilot send a message to the gate, however there was no response. When we arrived in Seattle we tried every possible way to track the bag. The baggage claim office was only reaching answering machines and we could not get through to anyone.

When all fails - turn to the Rabbi... This morning I called the Chabad Shliach in Salt Lake City, Rabbi Zippel rushed immediately to the airport and tried every possible venue, in addition he got one of his congregants, who works in the airport to work on the case as well. One hour later I received a phone call "the bag was found and it will be FedExed to you today".

I constantly hear stories how Chabad Rabbis help Jews when they are stressed and lost. Now I have a story of my own... 

A promise kept

It was last Friday, when I emailed from a distance - to our dear friends Dr. Mark and Catherine Lupin and the family - our wishes for the Bar Mitzvah celebration of their son Alex. In my letter I promised that we will be saying L'Chaim on Shabbat here in Michigan for this occasion.

 Shabbat came and was about to leave and I forgot to keep my promise... About one hour before Shabbat was over, while standing in Shul, a man walks over to me "Are you Rabbi Kaplan from Victoria?" To my positive response he continued to ask "do you know Dr. Lupin?" to which I replied "I can't belive it! You just reminded me about my promise to them! How do YOU know them?!"

"Mark is my cousin, in fact his mother came to my Bar Mitzvah" he answered, and before I knew it I was listening to the amazing story of Mark's grandfather Mr. Rosen, who brought the entire family to a safe heaven before the Nazis came to power. "If not for his generosity I would not have been here today" he completed the family story. Then, we sat down to say L'Chaim...

 Not only did I, thank G-d, keep my promise to celebrate Alex's Bar Mitzvah, I even did it with relatives...

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