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Coming home in Victoria...

Coming home in Victoria...

Friday, 12 July, 2013 - 2:06 pm

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Even after almost ten years on the Island, meeting Jews from every walk of life, hearing so many stories and perspectives, the visit of an old man from Tel Aviv left an impression that I think will remain for a long time.   

Eli came to celebrate his 90th birthday with his children in Vancouver and Victoria.  When I heard about his visit, I invited he and his daughter Iris to join our family for Friday night dinner.  Eli is a very intelligent and curious man and we carried a deep conversation for the better part of the meal.  When Eli heard that Iris comes every Tuesday evening to a Talmud class - heasked to join her again for that.

On Tuesday Eli got right into the depth of the Talmudic discussion.  He remembered some of the topics studied from his childhood and, as it seemed he was enjoying the refreshment of those days, he expressed his appreciation for the logic and brilliance of the Talmud and its commentary.

When I offered Eli to lay Tefillin after the lesson, he agreed immediately.  It was then that I learned that last time he was in a synagogue - let alone put tefillin - was at his brother's Bar Mitzvah in a little shul in Tel Aviv some seventy five years ago!

I was watching Eli when he was reading the Shma prayer.  He was saying it with such confidence and connection; it was an amazing sight. A thought crossed my mind - a Jew may live in Tel Aviv all of his life but he still may come home on a visit to Victoria....

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Comments on: Coming home in Victoria...
7/12/2013

Elisabeth Gelb wrote...

Dear Rabbi,
Most Heartwarming. We are most fortunate to have Chabad Vancouver Island where Jews can find 'home'. Gut Shabbos to you and yours!
Elisabeth