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A call for thanksgiving

Thursday, 14 July, 2011 - 8:27 pm

When I decided to skip my weekly blog last week it was due to lack of time, not lack of stories. In fact, last week was filled with big and small incidents that each deserves a blog of its own and G-d willing, their time will come... Today I want to share with you a story that happened yesterday because it is my favourite kind of story.

As you may know, yesterday, the 12th of Tamuz, was a great holiday for Chabad Chassidim. In 1927, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, had been arrested by agents of the GPU for his activities to preserve Judaism throughout the Soviet empire. He was sentenced to death. On the 12 of Tamuz, international pressure forced the Soviets to change the sentence to exile and, subsequently, to release him completely. 
To be inspired on this special day, I took the book of the teachings of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak from that year, and studied the discourse he delivered on the date of his release. The entire essay is based on the blessing of "Hagomel" (thanksgiving) that one has to say after being saved from danger. As I closed the book, the phone rang.
Robert sounded very happy on the other side. "I want to inform you of great news. I feel that I'm completely recovered from my long-time illness. I want to know what would be an appropriate way to celebrate this occasion and give thanks to the Creator.”
It didn't take me long to not only tell him about the blessing of "Hagomel" that he is invited to say in shul, but also to share with him the learning I just completed on the subject.
You are invited to shul this Shabbat when Robert will say the “Hagomel” blessing and celebrate his healing with a great Kiddush thanksgiving.
Now you know why it's my favourite story? As a Rabbi I get many calls, not too often is it someone who calls to share good news and the advice he seeks is -how to celebrate it....
Comments on: A call for thanksgiving

Yosef Yitzchak aka George Pal wrote...

What a great story, Meir. It is epecially for me. For I am also Yosef Yitzchak.
I am looking forward to seeing you very soon, primarily for Friendship's sake but also because this Yosef Yitzchak also has a problem, and who elso would he turn to but his Friend, his Rabbi, Meir Kaplan. Thank you Meir, hope to see you soon,
Yosef Yitzchak, aka. George Pal