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Igniting Souls on Chanukah

Igniting Souls on Chanukah

Friday, 10 December, 2010 - 12:40 pm

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Dear Friends,

As most are probably aware, this Chanukah we started a new initiative, spreading the light of Chanukah throughout Vancouver Island, with public Menorah lighting in 5 different cities. The success was beyond any expectation and the response was overwhelming.  There was one meeting in particular that I will never forget.

When arrived at Campbell River City Hall, one hour prior to the event and, there was a man waiting there, looking anxious and excited. After we started setting up I walked over to him.  He said "Shalom, Rabbi!" and started weeping...rabbi and salomon.JPG

"Excuse my emotion" he said, "It is been many years since I have said hello to a Rabbi.” As we had a short while until the event began, I had a nice chat with this man, who by now I knew that his name was Salomon Rosenberg.

Salomon has lived in Campbell River for close to thirty years. When he arrived he knew of a few older Jews, who passed away shortly after, and since then he had never met a Jewish soul on the Island.

Reading in the newspaper about the lighting of the Menorah in front of city hall excited him greatly, he was hoping to meet other Jews, and reclaim connection. "I'm pinching myself, I can’t believe that this is happening here, in Campbell River" he told me.

At the end of the event - the locals got to know the new member of the community, and Salomon was inspired to get involved in Jewish life.

Salomon grew up in a Jewish home, had a Bar Mitzvah and celebrated Jewish holidays in his youth, but since he had moved to Campbell River his Jewish soul wasn't expressed, it was reignited in front of the candles on the 5th day of Chanukah 5771. 

Comments on: Igniting Souls on Chanukah
12/10/2010

Anna Haltrecht wrote...

Thank you for coming to Salt Spring Island and lighting the large menorah here on the 6th night.
It is the first time that I can recall in the 25 years I have been on the island, that a public expression of a Jewish holiday was made here. I am happy I was apart of it with my friends & neighbours.
The doughnuts were good too!
There was a photo in this week's Driftwood.
12/10/2010

Anna Haltrecht wrote...

Thank you for coming to Salt Spring Island and lighting the large menorah here on the 6th night.
It is the first time that I can recall in the 25 years I have been on the island, that a public expression of a Jewish holiday was made here. I am happy I was apart of it with my friends & neighbours.
The doughnuts were good too!
There was a photo in this week's Driftwood.
12/10/2010

Vinnie wrote...

What an inspiring story.

Your presence on the Island makes such a big difference to lost Jewish souls and all Jewish souls on the Island.

Keep on doing the great work you do!

Shabbat Shalom
12/10/2010

Oscar Pelta wrote...

Thanks very much for sharing this touching story Rabbi Kaplan. As another Yid in Yenemsvelt I resonate in sympathy.

Thank you for your commitment to the good work you do.

Oscar Pelta
12/10/2010

Fiona wrote...

Rabbi, you are making such a difference in Jewish life on our wonderful Vancouver Island. Every time your share these stories, you share how you are finding the sparks.

Thanks you for all you do.
Fiona
12/10/2010

Liz Belsten wrote...

Thank you so much for your efforts and for sharing Salomon's story with with us. That was beautiful, and very deep.
12/10/2010

Marvin Sharpe wrote...

Rabbi, you bring the Chabad message of "just be Jewish" in a manner that illicits the heart and warmth of our faith. Vancouver Island basks in the sunshine of Judiaism ,with your presence.

B'Shalom
12/10/2010

Carla wrote...

Thank you for this touching story about Salomon in Campbell River. I think there may be many more Jewish souls like Salomon seeking connection, and am always amazed and grateful at the extent of your efforts to create Jewish community on Vancouver Island.
12/11/2010

Gerry Stanford wrote...

I have come a log way (round the World) severaltimes from my place of birth to find my home; this story makes it much more so,
Thank you, I wish you successand will help you if you need it. Shalom shalom
12/11/2010

Ireta Fisher Cowall wrote...

Thank you for Solomon Rosenberg's story. You have so many touching stories. It's amazing they happen to you so frequently.

My mothers' family name is Rosenberg in Chicago and Toronto. I doubt if we are related, but you never know. Please have him get in touch with me. As you know Azima (Shelley) who lives in Campbell River would probably like to meet him, however she has been returned to Vict. General for an operation.
12/11/2010

Dr. Elias Mandel wrote...

Rabbi,
Although I don't agree with all the tenets of orthodox Judaism, I commend you for the work of outreach on the island. It's about time knowledge of Judaism was spread on this island.
I would also like to suggest, as an educational process, that a group of rabbis and ministers be formed to meet monthly to discuss common interests and have a rabbi preach at one sermon every 3 months at local churches about Israel and Jewish problems; and vice-versa have a priest or minister talk to Jewish synagogues every 3 months about community and inter-religious communication. It would be a mitzvah.
Shalom, dear Rabbi,
Elias Mandel, M.D.
12/13/2010

Sheila wrote...

Yasher Koach, Rabbi. I can surely identify with Salomon. Your bringing the Chanukiah to Duncan found me a new acquaintance too. See you in Shul this Shabbat.