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Two worlds merging

Dear friends,

I'm writing to you from the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem, while participating in "The Land and the Spirit" tour of Israel, with ten other members of the Vancouver Island Jewish community.

There is so much to say about the last few days on so many levels that I really don't know where to begin...

For now, I'll share with you a defining moment on the first day of our mission.

As you may know, my home town is in the city of Tzfat. I was born and raised in a town where everywhere I looked was Jewish, its history its presence and its future. Very different than the life experience in Victoria...

This life is so different that whenever I come back to visit Israel I feel as if I'm landing on a different planet - what is the reality of life in one place is the most ridiculous in the other. A world apart.

When ascending into the Galilee mountains on our first day in Israel I stood by the front of the bus and looked back, seeing my dear friends from the Victoria Jewish community - the worlds were merging. At that moment I felt that I'm closing this gap for the first time. Tzfat and Victoria, Israel and British Columbia came together. I don't feel as if I'm living two lives anymore...

At that moment I felt the depth of our connection as Jews, that transcends any physical place. Victoria and Tzfat are not so far anymore. The essence of our being is the same on the hills of Tzfat as on the shores of Vancouver Island.

Here, this retaliation makes a lot of sense, I hope in Victoria it does too...

From the holy city of Jerusalem - Shabbat Shalom!

Beacon of light in Tzfat

I'm writing to you this morning from the City of Tzfat in Israel, where I came to spend Shabbat with my mother and family. 

Over two years ago I asked you for your prayers after my mother suffered a severe stroke and was in serious condition in the hospital.

Since that day many of you, especially those who have met her when she visited Victoria, have asked continuously to get updates about my mother's recovery and condition. 

ima and meir.JPGIt has been a long journey for my mother from that day in June of 2011. Today, visiting my mother in Tzfat, I can happily report to you that my mother, with the great power of her spirit and amazing family support, returned to her full spiritual strength.

While her mobility is still compromised, she has gotten back to her role as a beacon of light in Tzfat, counseling and teaching people with her famous generosity and warmth.

Tomorrow, on my 35th birthday, I will be thankful to Hashem for all of His blessings that he showered upon myself and our family; being in Tzfat, I will be thinking mostly about my mother, who continues to be the pillar of wisdom and kindness of our family.

Eye opener at CNIB

Earlier this week, as we were affixing the Mezuzahs and setting out the furniture in our new Chabad Centre, a man whom I have never met before walked in. His face expressed total shock, and he started to speak in Hebrew.

When I introduced myself, he told me that he came to pick up his wife, who volunteers at the CNIB: the organization with which we share the building. After a few minutes of conversation, I learned that the man was 'Barmitzvahd', lived in Israel in the 70s, but following an incident in his life, hadn't connected with the Jewish community for a very long time.

I told him that the fact that the Jewish Centre ended up so close to him - might be a sign that it's time to reclaim his heritage... He nodded his head as if to say, "I got the message - you don't need to say anymore...".

Inspired by the teaching of Ba’al Shem Tov- that major events in the world may happen just in order to bring one soul back home, we could say that the purpose of this move was already realized. The rest of the nachas, which we will, G-d willing, draw from this beautiful space is a complete bonus...

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