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Defining Moment

Dear friends,

Tomorrow will be a defining moment - for Chani and me - in the education of our children and in our life as a family, here in Victoria.

One of the revolutionary ideas of our Rebbe, was the notion that when sending 'Shluchim' - Chabad Rabbis and Rebetzins - to help build Jewish life in any part of the world, each family member is an equal partner in the mission. The Rebbe stressed many times that the young children are a vital part in bringing the light and warmth of Judaism to every Jew with dedication and love.

Sukkot-27.jpgOur children, thank G-d, love living here; Victoria is their home and the community is their extended family, but they know that while this is a most beautiful place, their parents made it their home for another reason too…

It was only this week that Chani and I looked at our children and thought that they may be ready to be real players; they can become an active part in our work.

Beginning tomorrow, Mussi and  Rivky will run a circle on Shabbat morning for the children in the Shul; they will sing songs, play a game and tell a story. We don't know how well they will do, but we believe that they will give it their best, because when we offered them this opportunity, they didn't only agree - they jumped on it. I think it made them look at themselves differently. Indeed, a defining moment.

The gift of 'Shabbos'

Dear friends,

Last Friday I was humbled to be given one of the most meaningful gifts I've ever received. It wasn't only who gave it to me and its content, it was the presentation...

Many of you know Dr. Peter Gary, an accomplished composer who retired on the Island. Dr. Gary, a survivor of Bergen Belsen, dedicated much of his late years to educate young children and students across the Island about the Shoah (he doesn’t approve of the term "holocaust"). He had inspired thousands of young men and women to fight hate and to stand up for what's right and moral.

When Peter asked me to meet him on Erev Shabbat at the Shul, while we see each other regularly, I knew that this was something of a different nature.

Dr. Peter placed a thick booklet and a CD on the table. "Over the last few months” he started “I've written a piece of music which is dedicated to you and Chani. I'm giving it to you because, as you know, I watch you very closely and I appreciate your work and accomplishments; This septet of original music is on the theme of ‘Shabbos’ because your and Chani’s efforts are to me a form of Shabbat".

"When I think of Shabbat I remember the few Jews, weak and broken, who gathered on Saturday morning in Majdanek concentration camp to pray by heart, because there were no books, but Shabbat to me is also coming to this Shul, shaking hands with smiles and singing the prayer with great joy…

"While those experiences seem to differ so much – it is the same Shabbat.  This one day a week has a great significant to us as a people; I’d define Shabbos as the core of our identity and the secret of our survival”. 

We sat together to listen to the music. I think I was table to hear in the composition Shabbat in our Shul but also Shabbat in Maydaneck. So far yet so close.

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