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Meeting at JFK

Friday, 4 July, 2014 - 5:12 pm

Yesterday afternoon, I was getting a drink at a shop in JFK airport, when a young lady who just completed her purchase turned to me with an unusual request. She took a necklace out of her purse, put it around her neck and asked me if I can close it for her. I looked closely and saw that her arm was broken and she needed assistance. 

"I saw you and I remembered about my Star of David necklace" she explained her sudden decision to wear this piece of jewelry. 

When she asked me where my traveling plans take me, we realized that we were both traveling to Calgary. A while later, we found out that it wasn't only that we were on the same airplane, she was actually just across the aisle from me, in the same row.  

It was my flight back after spending a very inspiring few days in New York in conjunction with the Rebbe's Yahrtzeit. I was supposed to fly home on Wednesday, but my flight was canceled and I was put on a flight on the following day. 

To keep myself occupied, I reached for a magazine in my carry-on bag. When the girl saw the Rebbe's picture in the front of that publication she said "my grandfather loved this guy, he used to stand for hours in the line to get his blessing, I was always wondering what was so special about him..." I gave her the magazine, which she read avidly. 

In our conversation, I learned that she was heading to Kelowna, to visit her Jewish boy friend. "Does he know Rabbi Hecht?" I asked. "A Rabbi in Kelowna?!" She responded with amazement. I gave her the Hechts contact information and she promised she'll get in touch and try to connect her friend as well, and perhaps have Shabbat together too. 

I don't know why my flight was delayed on Wednesday, I'm definitely not trying to imply that I know why the girl broke her arm, but I believe that our odd meeting at the terminal shop may have strengthened a connection of Jewish souls in Kelowna to their heritage and for this I'm grateful. 

Comments on: Meeting at JFK

Elisabeth Gelb wrote...

Dear Rabbi,
Such an interesting series of coincidences...and that her grandfather stood in line for the Rebbe’s Blessing!
No doubt, this connection will positively impact the life of this young person.
This is the power of Chabad.
Shabbat Shalom,