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Avi is back at home...

Friday, 28 May, 2010 - 12:55 pm

Dear Friends,

Avi Elbaz, a Naval Officer originally from Montreal, ended up by Divine Providence stationed at the base in Esquimalt. Since Avi's arrival we became close friends, or to be correct, Avi became a close friend of our sons Leibel (4) and Mendel (2)... Avi came occasionally to Shul and gave a helping hand at events and functions.

Three months ago, Avi called me to inform me of a final decision he had made. "Rabbi" he said, "please don't invite me to come to Shul anymore; I have difficulty attending. I'd still love to come to events and classes and help in any way, but praying is difficult for me."

A few weeks later, Avi was deployed to South America. He was the only Canadian working on a Colombian Naval ship; sailing from Ushuaia, Argentina, the most southern city in the world, to Cartagena, Colombia.

One Sunday during his trip, Avi called. It was very exciting to hear from him. Calling from Lima Peru, Avi briefed me about his experience so far, and then rushed along to what seemed to be the reason for his call: "Yesterday, I attended Shabbos services at a Shul in Vina del Mar, Chile, a few people were there, mostly elderly, and the Shul was very simple. There were not even enough books for the minyan… and I immediately felt very special.” I just listened to his voice, trying to confirm that I was hearing the same Avi I knew before...

Avi continues, “Although I was on a different continent and in a strange land, while attending Shabbos services I felt as I was back at home."

This week Avi unexpectedly arrived back in Victoria. He came to say hi and we had a long chat about his experiences, primarily sailing under a foreign Navy. No mention of the Synagogue experience of Vina del Mar, Chile.

"See you in Shul on Shabbat morning" he said before walking out the door...

Comments on: Avi is back at home...

The Shortt family wrote...

Welcome home Avi....we are so happy to have you with us in Victoria and, please G-D, on the path to complete health.

We look forward to hearing about your adventures.

The Shortt family