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A man's steps are from G-d

Last Friday, when sitting in the Hospital in Ramat Gan, Israel, a woman lying on the next bed called me, she'd like to ask me for a favour...   

"This is the fourth time I'm in the hospital for a growth in my head” Liorah said, “I was told that there is a tradition that by adding a name - one may be able to add years to his or her life, will you be able to add to my birth name - the name Chaya (which means "alive")? I gladly agreed to do it the next morning in the hospital synagogue.

On Sunday Liorah left back home from the rehabilitation center. She thanked me again and again for doing this for her. "For the last 4 months that I’ve been here, I have waited for this opportunity"...

A man's steps are from G-d, for man understands nothing of his way. (Proverbs 20,24)


Good news from Israel

Dear friends, 

I'm writing to you from the Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer, Israel, while sitting at the bedside of my mother...
It has been a very long week... Just days ago my mother has been fighting for her life in the ICU of the hospital of Tzfat, now she is starting to make some significant improvements in the best rehabilitation in Israel, which is most probably from the top places in the entire world.
While we know that this is going to be a long journey for my mother and the family, we are thankful to the Almighty for His kindness until now, and we continue to pray and make every effort to bring her to a complete recovery and full function.
My friend from Yeshiva, Rabbi Levi Gopin, the local Chabad Rabbi in this hospital, which is loved and respected by the entire staff and all the patients who know him, has been a tremendous help for the entire family in providing us with all we need, so we can support my mother through this challenging time.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Vancouver Island Jewish community. Hundreds of people have sent their messages, blessings and offers to help. While I couldn't reply to each one individually; we want you to know how much it means to us. It has touched the heart of Chani and me to know of the support and care we have from this community through this difficult period.

Praying for my mother

 As some of you may know, last Sunday my mother, Mrs. Sara Kaplan of Tzfat, suffered a severe stroke. Since then she has been getting, Thank G-d, wonderful treatment in the local hospital.

 I know that many of you have met my mother, and heard her speak on different occasions, including last summer (see pictures here) and most recently on Pesach.

What you are most probably unaware of, is the extent of her involvement with the work we do here in Victoria. Not only does she know of every event or program we offer, and interested in getting a detailed report after each one, but she helps Chani and me regularly, with her wise advice for planning and decision making, and with her broad and deep knowledge and insight with preparation for classes and teachings.

On Sunday evening, when I heard the shocking news, I was ready to take the next airplane to Israel, especially since her condition was unknown.

Knowing my mother's selflessness and giving nature, I knew what she would tell me to do. In fact I was thinking that if she would see me there, she would wonder how I can leave my home and community for Shavuot, when there is so much happening...

Though, it is very difficult, being so far away while the rest of my family is together by her bedside, when about 100 men, women and children came on Wednesday to the largest Shavuot celebration we had in our Shul - I knew it was the right decision to stay here for the Holiday.  (My apologies to all of our friends for not sharing the news at that time, I didn’t want to hurt the spirit of the celebration).

I know that when I will be going next week to Israel to visit her - she'll be very proud of my decision, and she'll ask me, as always, to hear in detail how was Shavuot in Victoria...

I will be grateful to you if you will take a moment of your time to say chapter 60 of tehillin (below) for the speedy and complete recovery of Sara Hinda Bas Chaya.

Please G-d; I will be a messenger of good news very soon. 

א  לַמְנַצֵּחַ, עַל-שׁוּשַׁן עֵדוּת;    מִכְתָּם לְדָוִד לְלַמֵּד.
ב  בְּהַצּוֹתוֹ, אֶת אֲרַם נַהֲרַיִם--    וְאֶת-אֲרַם צוֹבָה:
וַיָּשָׁב יוֹאָב, וַיַּךְ אֶת-אֱדוֹם בְּגֵיא-מֶלַח--    שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר אָלֶף.
ג  אֱלֹהִים, זְנַחְתָּנוּ פְרַצְתָּנוּ;    אָנַפְתָּ, תְּשׁוֹבֵב לָנוּ.
ד  הִרְעַשְׁתָּה אֶרֶץ פְּצַמְתָּהּ;    רְפָה שְׁבָרֶיהָ כִי-מָטָה.
ה  הִרְאִיתָ עַמְּךָ קָשָׁה;    הִשְׁקִיתָנוּ, יַיִן תַּרְעֵלָה.
ו  נָתַתָּה לִּירֵאֶיךָ נֵּס, לְהִתְנוֹסֵס--    מִפְּנֵי, קֹשֶׁט סֶלָה.
ז  לְמַעַן, יֵחָלְצוּן יְדִידֶיךָ;    הוֹשִׁיעָה יְמִינְךָ וַעֲנֵנִי.
ח  אֱלֹהִים, דִּבֶּר בְּקָדְשׁוֹ--אֶעְלֹזָה:    אֲחַלְּקָה שְׁכֶם; וְעֵמֶק סֻכּוֹת אֲמַדֵּד.
ט  לִי גִלְעָד, וְלִי מְנַשֶּׁה, וְאֶפְרַיִם, מָעוֹז רֹאשִׁי;    יְהוּדָה, מְחֹקְקִי.
י  מוֹאָב, סִיר רַחְצִי--עַל-אֱדוֹם, אַשְׁלִיךְ נַעֲלִי;    עָלַי, פְּלֶשֶׁת הִתְרוֹעָעִי.
יא  מִי יֹבִלֵנִי, עִיר מָצוֹר;    מִי נָחַנִי עַד-אֱדוֹם.
יב  הֲלֹא-אַתָּה אֱלֹהִים זְנַחְתָּנוּ;    וְלֹא-תֵצֵא אֱלֹהִים, בְּצִבְאוֹתֵינוּ.
יג  הָבָה-לָּנוּ עֶזְרָת מִצָּר;    וְשָׁוְא, תְּשׁוּעַת אָדָם.
יד בֵּאלֹהִים נַעֲשֶׂה-חָיִל;    וְהוּא, יָבוּס צָרֵינו

1. For the conductor, on shushan eduth, a michtam of David, to teach.

2. When he fought with Aram-Naharaim and with Aram-Zobah, and Joab returned and smote twelve thousand of Edom in the valley of salt.

3. O God, You have forsaken us; You have breached us; You were angry with us. You shall restore us.

4. You caused the land to quake; You split it; heal its breaches for it has faltered.

5. You have shown Your people harshness; You have given us to drink wine of bewilderment.

6. You have given those who fear You trials with which to be tested, in order to beautify [Your behavior] forever.

7. In order that Your beloved ones should be rescued, save Your right hand and answer me.

8. God spoke in His Sanctuary; I will exult, I will divide a portion, and I will measure the valley of Succoth.

9. Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine, and Ephraim is the strength of my head; Judah is my lawgiver.

10. Moab is my washbasin; on Edom I will throw my lock; Philistia, join me.

11. Who will bring me to a fortified city?-He Who led me to Edom?

12. Is it not You, O God, Who has forsaken us, and [Who] does not go forth, O God, with our hosts?

13. Give us aid against the adversary, but the salvation of man is futile.

14. Through God we shall gather might, and He will trample our adversaries.


Heart-warming message from Cold Lake...

 Dear friends,

In our attempt to update are mailing list, we emailed a young couple to get their current information. In response we got this absolutely heart-warming message from Cold Lake, Alberta:

"My husband and I contacted Chabad because we thought we would be transfered to Victoria. Instead, we ended up in Cold Lake for almost three years, and just this month we moved to Calgary...

"I so enjoy the weekly emails that I get from the Rabbi, so I hope you won't take us off of the email list. In such a busy place, with such busy lives, it is so nice to have a bit of thought-provoking or uplifting content. It is so refreshing. Please pass along that we appreciate how much work it must be, and we hope you know that we read and are grateful for it each week.
"When we were in Cold Lake, trying to find kosher ANYTHING and being so lonely and busy with a tiny baby, it was nice to have some Jewish connection to look forward to. Thank you for that and for serving the community. My husband's family lives in Nanaimo, so when we are on the island next for a visit, we will see if we can come by and finally introduce ourselves... 

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