Dear Friends,

Last week’s e-mail about my dear late brother Yossi brought a flood of responses offering comfort and support. It was gratifying and I wish to thank those who e-mailed or touched base when we met during the week. Many told anecdotes of their loved ones and the people who inspired them — people who are no longer here with them, and about the special moments they had shared. Hearing the different stories about special moments where people just enjoyed each other by being together, not involved in any major event, made me realize: we should truly count our blessings and enjoy the moment. Sure, there are many things that could interfere, but — a wise mathematician once said, “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”

There is a very strange commandment between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot that invokes us to count the days. This is meant literally: at the end of the day you are supposed to thank G‑d for Day 1 , then Day 2, then Day 3. Why do we do this? Is it so we won’t forget what day it is? For that we have calendars. The idea is to focus on taking inventory at the end of the day and to acknowledge that each day individually has been a beautiful gift: enjoy family, friends, blessings, and yes, thank G‑d for Day 1. This should introduce us to the habit of being grateful, just because!

Have you heard of the “missing tile syndrome”? That is what human beings tend to do. We often emphasize what is missing instead of what is present, what is negative instead of what is positive in our lives. Even if we have a life filled with blessing, we often obsess on that which is missing, to such an extent that it detracts from our day-to-day happiness. Imagine that you are in a museum looking up at a beautiful ceiling made with thousands of tiles. As you glance around, you notice that one of the tiles is missing. Although the rest of the ceiling is perfect, where do you think your eyes will most likely focus? Upon that one missing tile! This has been called the “missing tile syndrome”.

Here is our exercise for the next few days and it is also a mitzvah. At the end of the day, think about ONE thing you are grateful for and thank G‑d for Day #11, and then count another 38 days just until Shavuot. (then we can go back to complaining, or by that time we may just realize how beautiful all of it really is.)

At this time, please know that the Chabad Naples family rejoices with your simchas, and we will be there in time of need. If there is someone in need of a complete recovery, please send us the name and we will include it during the service: please e-mail to: [email protected]

For the anniversary of passing, please make sure we know so we can honor that Neshama with prayers and acts of good deeds. And of course if there is a simcha, a happy occasion, let us know so that we can rejoice together.

On April 8th the world will commemorate Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Memorial Day. Let us as a community remember those who were lost and honor their precious souls.

With love from your extended Chabad Naples family

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos