Printed from

"Achim, Gam Yachad",,

Friday, 26 April, 2013 - 1:40 pm

When I opened my email one morning, exactly seven years ago, I saw a message from my former student in Yeshivah. I didn't hear from him in a while, but the real surprise was the picture attached. 

In the photo I saw Dr. Steve Baker, a good friend and member of the Victoria Jewish community, with my former student with their arms on each other’s shoulders as if they were good old friends.

Lag B'omer 021.jpgIn the text of the email I got the explanation.
"Rabbi Kaplan, I was in Meiron on Lag B'omer (when hundreds of thousands of Jews come to mark this date next to the resting place of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai - MK) and I offered a man to put on Tefillin at our “Tefillin booth”. We started to talk, when I heard that he was from Vancouver Island, I asked if he knew Rabbi Kaplan 'what do you mean if I know Rabbi Kaplan?! He is my Rabbi, how do YOU know him?!..."’

‘When he heard that you are my teacher, he was amazed "I don't know how you are all connected. And what are the chances that I will be meeting you out of the many thousands here… It reminds me that a few months ago my wife mentioned to Rabbi Kaplan that her brother lives in Helsinki, Finland, turns out that the Rabbi's best friend is the Chabad Rabbi there. He got them connected and now they are very close".

"You won't believe it" I told Steve when I heard his story “three weeks ago I returned from Helsinki, where I went to help Rabbi Wolf for Pesach, and you know who gave me a lift to the airport? Your brother in law..." Steve was blown away…

“I know the story doesn't sound real, so I'm attaching a picture of our meeting so you can see for yourself"…

Lag B'omer is the passing date of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the Talmud tells us that one of his favourate verses was "Hine ma tov uma na'im shevet achim gam yachad" - How good and pleasant it is for brothers to sit together". Helsinki, Victoria, New York or Israel, we are all brothers and sisters "gam yachad" together as one. 

Comments on: "Achim, Gam Yachad",,

Sharon Fitch wrote...

Hine ma tov.....across the world we are all connected. How true.

Morah Faiga wrote...

I love stories like this! You, Chani and your family hold such a special place in my life.
I know that we are all connected; and your stories confirm that for me and others every week. You inspire me to be thankful for all that I have and to find ways to help others see and reach their potential.

Steve Baker wrote...

I was asked to put on tefillin at least 6 times before I said yes to your former student. Everything happens for a reason.
He said you don't know how lucky you are to have Rabbi Kaplan as your Rabbi. Instead of a schleach he could have easily been a rosh yeshiva. We are very lucky to have you and Chani in Victoria. I appointed you as the rosh yeshiva at my yeshiva on Tuesday evenings!!!
Mora Faiga lovingly teaches my boys.
Connection is good for the soul!!!