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The weather obsacle

Friday, 7 May, 2010 - 12:55 pm

Dear Friends,  

When the forecast clearly declared rain last Sunday and the clouds didn't seem to be going anywhere, I was asked by friends and members of the community if I could cancel the BBQ or move it indoors. Even so, I did not even begin look into the possibility of a rain-date or new local.  In truth I did not have a choice; had I done so, I would have had to resign my position immediately.  Let me explain you why.

Six and a half years ago, Chani and I heard for the first time about Vancouver Island.  An announcement from Rabbi Wineberg, director of Chabad Lubavitch of BC, was circulated around to Chabad newly married couples with the offer to make Victoria their new home for life. 

We responded that we were interested and ready to go.  Rabbi Wineberg set up a meeting with us at the Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters in New York. He told us that he would also be meeting with 16 other couples who had expressed interest.

That day, one of the strongest snowstorms in years hit New York. The roads were closed, and we couldn’t reach Rabbi Wineberg to find out if the meeting is still on.  When we looked outside all we saw were children playing in the snow. It was 15 minute walk in heavy snow, Chani was very pregnant (with Mussi...), and chances were that Rabbi Wineberg might not even show up.

Despite the snow, we decided to go.  We put on our boots and started tromping through the snow. When we got to the building we saw the footprints of just one other person who had entered the building before us.  We walked in and met Rabbi Wineberg. Of the 16 couples interested, we were the only ones who appeared that day.  Rabbi Wineberg looked at us and said: “If you are determent enough to come all this way in the snow - you are ready to go to this remote place." The rest is history...

Since then we know that doing what you have to do, regardless of the weather around you, is rewarding...  

I'm sure you all remember last year on Chanukah when there was a heavy snow storm in Victoria.  It looked exactly like that day years ago in New York, and I can’t help but reminisce yet again.  The ceremony was at the Legislature, and we had an enthusiastic, large and wonderfully weather defiant crowd. The Menorah lighting at the Legislature became the cover story of the Times Colonist, bringing the message of Chanukah to the citizens of this island like never before.

So we didn't cancel the BBQ on Sunday; we had it in the rain. And you know what? It was the best Lag B'omer BBQ of all. Everyone enjoyed themselves immensely and the spirit was great.

The fourth Chabad Rebbe Rabbi Shmuel Schneersohn said: "The world says: If you can't go under an obstacle, leap over.  I say: In the first place, go over!"

Don't get overwhelmed by an obstacle, turn it into an advantage!

Comments on: The weather obsacle

Fiona Prince (Morah Feygah) wrote...

I agree! No point in crawling under obstacles.

I was at the BBQ and the only thing that was missing for me was gloves! I thought, "Why, oh why didn't I put them in my pockets. It's Victoria! It's always cooler by the ocean!"

No gloves, no problem. I warmed up by flying a kite for the first time in over 30 years. Thanks for having faith that we would come to celebrate with you. Thank you for the kosher food, the warm coffee and the memories.