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Rabbi Fishel's Blog

Prayers, blessings, and thanks

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Dear Friends, 

This Tuesday, June 9, I will be in New York, at the gravesite of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, my teacher and mentor. I will be joined by more than 50 thousand people from across the globe who will be visiting the Rebbe's holy resting place on this auspicious day.

Although I find it too difficult to capture his essence in words on paper, I will say that His leadership was always with his contagious smile and selfless love. Where many saw separation and discord, the Rebbe saw unity; those whom others shunned, the Rebbe embraced with unconditional fatherly love. The Rebbe cared for another human being because he saw the G-dly spark in each of us and the great potential of goodness that lies within. He dedicated his life to bringing the inner light of as many human beings as possible, to the fore. 

Even after his passing in 1994, it's fair to say that - through his thousands of students spread all over the world - the Rebbe continues to inspire millions - Jews and non-Jews alike - to bring a little more goodness and kindness into the dark world we live in. His legacy truly lives on!

It was this mission of love for every individual and a vision of a perfected world that inspired our lifetime move to Naples, FL. We carry not only his memory but his messages with us on a daily basis.

When I look around in amazement at this beautiful Alex & Carol Glassman Chabad oasis that we have created together here in Naples, FL, I know that what we see today and all that follows in the future is a credit to his blessings and guidance. As I stand at the ohel (gravesite) with a threefold mission -- prayers, blessings, and thanks -- I know I am fulfilling part of his dream and mine. 

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It is a Jewish tradition to visit the resting place of a saintly person with the heartfelt wish that he join our prayers to the Almighty, for blessings for ourselves and our loved ones.

I will make a quick trip to visit the Rebbe's holy resting-place for prayer on this auspicious day, among over 50,000 others, with the heartfelt wish that he beseech the Almighty on our behalf, for blessings for ourselves and our loved ones. 

While prayer at any time and virtually in any place is certainly a good thing, this day and at this very holy place is a particularly appropriate time to offer our prayers to Hashem.

It would be an honor to bring letters and blessing requests on behalf of you and your family which you can send to me via email: [email protected]

While writing the letter, remember to include your name and your mother's name and those of anyone else you would like me to mention, I would be glad to include them. If you have something in particular you would like to pray for, please mention it as well.

May all our prayers be fulfilled.

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

 


A day of tenacity, resilience, and a commitment to carry on

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Dear Friends,

This Sunday is Lag B'Omer, a day filled with endless energy for reaching our deepest, often hidden potential.

It's the day of the passing of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the great Talmudic scholar who authored the Zohar, the classic work of Kaballah. He asked that his day of passing not be a sad one, rather that it be celebrated.

It also marks when the plague stopped among the students of Rabbi Akiva. And here is the powerful message:

When Rabbi Akiva lost 24,000 students, he didn't become hopeless; he didn't give up or give in. When the last funeral concluded, when the last shiva was observed, on Lag Ba'Omer, he found five new students and started again.

It is explained that Lag Ba'Omer is the celebration of never becoming hopeless or despondent. It is a day of tenacity, resilience, and a commitment to carry on and to continue our magnificent heritage and sacred mission in this world. The message is clear: keep the fire burning. Keep the passion, energy, and enthusiasm going. Live the legacy of Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, and the holy souls we've lost since October 7.

As you light the candles tonight, pray for yourself and your family, but also for all those who will spend this Shabbos without their loved ones. Pray for the hostages and for the holy land of Israel, the Jewish people, and the world over, for light, love, and peace.

Lag Ba'Omer is a special day of unity. When God looks down and sees His children united, He opens the heavens and showers blessings upon us all. Let's come together this Sunday at 5 PM. Looking forward to seeing you. FREE with RSVP at www.chabadnaples.com/BBQ

Wishing you an early happy Lag B'omer!

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos  

"Rabbi, can I give you a hug?"

Dear Friends, 

Last week, we celebrated the Bar Mitzvah of Dan Kramer at 83 years old. It was a moving and powerful experience. While I was sharing a few words and blessing him, just after he was called up to the Torah for the first time in his life, he turned to me in front of the entire crowd of over a hundred people and asked, "Rabbi, can I give you a hug?" I said sure, and he gave me a huge hug. We then honored him with "Gelilah," the wrapping of the Torah. As he was wrapping the Torah, I noticed that he was also giving the Torah a hug. This is what it means to live by the mitzvot; it's never too late. Especially now, we need it more than ever.

Throughout our history, the way that we, the Jewish People, have always responded to adversity and atrocity is not by backing down from who we are and what we are, but by doubling, tripling and quadrupling down on who and what we are!... For every bit of darkness in which others may seek to engulf our world, we seek to counter that darkness with more and more saturations of light.

Despite all the hate and antisemitism in the world, it's crucial for us to live and be prouder and more joyful Jews. As we delve into this week's Torah portion, we encounter a captivating verse that encapsulates the essence of our Jewish journey: "You shall observe My statutes and My ordinances, which a man shall do and live by them. I am the Lord." The Torah is reminding us that these divine instructions are not meant to burden or confine us. No! They are the keys to unlocking a life overflowing with meaning, purpose, and joy. Each mitzvah is an invitation, a celebration, and an opportunity to truly live. It's like a cosmic nudge, urging us to embrace life in all its glory.

Judaism offers us the ultimate guidebook to seize every precious moment. Embrace life with all your heart, soul, and spirit! So, let's toast to life itself, proclaiming "L'chayim!" with every breath we take. Judaism encourages us to go beyond survival mode, beyond mere existence, and instead, to dance, sing, and revel in the symphony of life.

Remember, the mitzvot are not roadblocks; they are stepping stones to a life well-lived. They are the secret ingredients that add flavor to our days, purpose to our actions, and depth to our relationships. They are our compass, guiding us towards acts of kindness, justice, and compassion, ensuring that our every step resonates with the melody of righteousness.

So let's embrace the mitzvot, not as a burden or a duty, but as a divine gift that enhances our existence. L'chayim! To life, to love, and to the magnificent tapestry of experiences that await us all.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos 

Meet Dan Kramer. He’s 83, and he’s my newest inspiration.

Dan 2.jpgDear Friends,

Meet Dan Kramer. He’s 83, and he’s my newest inspiration.

 

It would be normal if the sharp and often shocking rise in antisemitism would make someone want to hide their Judaism (God forbid), but Dan did the opposite!

 

Dan never had a Bar Mitzvah, and was never called to the Torah—until now. Despite not growing up with a strong outwards Jewish identity, and living 83 years without it, Dan decided that now he needs to wear it proud and strong.

 

Today, Dan prayed with Tefillin on. Then we opened the Torah to look at his Torah portion. We opened the Holocaust Torah, which was rescued and brought from Poland—where Dan’s father was born, and where things came full circle.

 

I hope you’ll join us this Shabbat, when Dan will get called up to the Torah for the first time, and we will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah together, only 70 years not too late!

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos  

 

Am Yisrael Chai: What Passover Teaches us About Jewish Survival

Dear Friends, 

These past months have not been easy for Am Yisrael, the Jewish people. Even if you have been living under the metaphorical rock you are surely aware of the attacks on October 7th, the war ever since, the rise of maddening antisemitism, and this deep feeling of worry and anxiety that has overtaken the hearts of good people the world over.

Just under six months after the atrocities of 10/7 we will be sitting down, family and friends, for the Passover Seder. The delicious Matza, wine, and food (everything tastes delicious after four cups of wine), the bitter herbs, the ten plagues, and your favorite nudnik uncle all come together to make the Seder the special event that it is.

Do you know that the Seder is the longest-standing yearly meal in history? For over three thousand years we have been doing the same Seder in the same way, as we proudly hold onto these traditions which made us who we are today. If a Jew from the Middle Ages would miraculously show up to our Seder, they would feel right at home.

And yet, each year the holiday and its rituals resonate in different and unique ways, based on the circumstances of our lives and our own growth and maturity. Although the rituals are repetitive every year, their messages are never repetitive, because we are not the same people who we were last year.

This year, perhaps more than any other Pesach in recent memory, there is a paragraph that will resonate deeply. Halfway through the Haggadah we will reach the part where we raise our cups and sing the famous song “Vehi Sheamda” (so many beautiful tunes to those words). As we do so, we will feel the words pulsate through our very being:

“And this is what kept our fathers and what keeps us surviving. For, not only one arose and tried to destroy us, rather in every generation they try to destroy us, and Hashem saves us from their hands.”

The message is twofold:

 1.⁠ ⁠Haters have always existed. Ever since we became a nation, we have had soulless individuals determined to destroy us. Unfortunately, this is not a new phenomenon.

2.⁠ ⁠Much more importantly: We always survive. No matter how much they hurt us, they can never destroy us. The eternity of the Jewish nation is arguably the greatest miracle of history. No nation has been more persecuted, and yet here we are – thriving, growing and more alive.

Antisemites are not only evil, but they are also foolish. Don’t they realize that the harder they fight us the stronger we become? Don’t they see the Divine Hand that assures that their plans will never succeed? And what about us? Are our eyes open to our own miraculous story? Are we confident in the promise of the future that “G-d saves us from their hands”?

Pesach’s eternal message is that no matter how hard it can be, whether in Egypt, Babylonia, Spanish Expulsion, Auschwitz, or Kfar Aza – Am Yisrael Chai. Our nation endures. The harder they try to break us, the harder our resolve to survive and even thrive becomes.

So, while we cry for lives lost, destroyed families and homes, and pray for our captives (hopefully, they are all home by the time you read this), let us also celebrate the miracle of our survival. The Seder is not just about Kneidlach, Matza, and a nice piece of steak.

It’s about opening our eyes to our own miracles, and to feel a strong sense of connection to the collective nation of Israel. We are one heart split into many bodies. We are one soul. We are all in this together.

So to all my friends, family and people of good conscience: Stand proud and strong during these tumultuous times. The pain is real, but we will come out stronger, better and as eternal as ever.

Next year in Jerusalem!

My wife Ettie joins me in wishing you and yours a Kosher and happy Pesach.

 

We spent a week grasping the unimaginable

 Dear Friends, 

The Chabad of Naples trip of 2024 was meant to be another exquisite adventure, uncovering the beauty of our land and the composition of our spirit.

The trip of 2024 in real time would become a journey unmatched in the history of our many trips.

We spent a week grasping the unimaginable in ways never to have been imagined before.

We met with our people all around Israel, sat and listened to their heartbreak until ours felt like it was shattered too.

We hugged and cried with soldiers who had seen the unseeable, and stood with mothers whose babies were torn from their arms and wait for them in Hamas’s tunnels of hell.

We saw the heroism of Israel, the brave people who ran into the fires and showed superhuman strength to guard their people, We got the chills when they said they’d do anything for the nation of Israel, because we saw that it was true. We felt their faith straight through our bones when after all they witnessed and survived, they stood up to thank God, don tefillin, and pledge to light Shabbat candles.

Our enemies intended to bring us to our knees, yet a unified Am Yisrael did just the opposite. We reached in and with a strength so fierce, and determination so focused, we rose to a place unmatched, like the Hasmoneans of old - the enemy forgot who they were dealing with.

We wish I could stay side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder with them until all the pain is healed.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge my dear wife Ettie Zaklos who held the fort back at home. I feel so blessed to be supported by my amazing partner who keeps everything going, for our kids, world famous Chabad of Naples, our community, and of course, #1 Preschool of the Arts! She’s the pillar of support and absolute powerhouse behind and in front of everything I do. Thank you, Ettie!

I’d also like to say a tremendous thank you to every single person who donated. Your donation is feeding and clothing victims of terror, lifting up the injured, and supporting our soldiers.

You’re making a huge difference to the IDF, and to lift their morale when they need it most, and much more.

Your donation is doing incredible things for Israel, and you showed that we can do something. We can show up and make a difference. And now we need to do even more. The need is real!

I would like to encourage you to continue to be strong and continue your support, and the mitzvot you had started doing for our brothers and sisters. 

We pledge to take the message we have heard this week and bring it home to our families, communities, congregations and friends. We understand that at the charge of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, we fight a spiritual battle which needs to be won on all fronts too. And this we promise to do.

Let us make a resolution that we will not rest until our brothers and sisters can walk the streets safely, be happy, and each of the hostages are returned safely.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos 

I confess, I don’t cry often. But this past week I did. A lot.

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Dear Friends,

I confess, I don’t cry often. But this past week I did. A lot.

It was a whirlwind of a visit to Israel. We experienced the highs and the lows. The powerful faith and solidarity, and the heart-shredding pain and anguish. We saw the friendship, love, and heroism, and the wounds, tears, and missing limbs.

In the Re’im forest, at the site of the Nova Festival massacre, we felt the pain of our people. In Chevron, at the Cave of our Patriarchs, and in nearby Beit Lechem at the graveside of Rachel the Matriarch, we remembered why we’re here—the deep roots of the Jewish nation, and our unbreakable tie to the Holy Land.

Sunday was the most difficult day. When I tell you I don’t usually cry—I mean that this time I couldn’t hold it back. The floodgates opened. We stood together at the funeral of a young soldier who fell in battle just the night before. Ilai Zair was and elite commando soldier, only 20-years-old, young enough that he had his whole life ahead of him; old enough to have made a powerful impact on the lives of so many.

We listened to his mother, then brother, and younger sister each between choked tears talk about the gentle soul who they loved and lost, who always thought about his friends and family first, and knew when someone was in pain. He wasn’t one you’d expect to see in a war zone, but he was there because he had to defend his people, and anything he did, he did all the way.

After pouring her pain out before everyone in attendance, and with a quivering but determined voice, Ilai’s sister sang the words, “ani maamin,” “I believe in perfect faith that the redemption will come.”

Tears, heartbreak, and resilience.

This is what we witnessed in Israel, and this is what they asked us to bring back home; the message that while we stand together in pain, we also stand together in hope and faith in a strong future for the Jewish nation. That we will sing and dance and rebuild as we always have.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

Almost six months into the war, and it’s time to go back.

Dear Friends, 

Almost six months into the war, and it’s time to go back.

The last time I visited was just weeks after the war broke out, with a delegation of Chabad rabbis. I promised I’d come back soon. Now, on Sunday, G-d willing, together with members of our community, I’ll be on a flight to Israel again. We will go to volunteer, bear witness, connect, and bring comfort to our family in Israel in midst of war. 

It’ll be an intense trip, with visits to sites from the earliest days of our history and roots in the land, to sites of deep pain and struggle from the present. Through it all though, we will see our bright future as a passionate nation that holds together in the most difficult times in order to build for better days ahead. 

The purpose of the trip is clear: To give the people of Israel a big hug and say to them “You are not alone”, we, in the USA and Naples, are with you in your pain! With 134 hostages still in captivity and our soldiers confronting the enemy, our extended Jewish family remain under fire.

Before we go, on Shabbat, we will read this week’s Torah portion, in which G-d commands us to keep an eternal flame burning in the Holy Temple. The Talmud details that the flame kept burning even on Shabbat, and even when the Jews were in a state of turmoil. 

True passion burns in the good times and the bad—during the peaceful Shabbat-like days, and during agony and war. Our last group trip to Israel was full of dancing and excitement in times of relative calm, and this time, it will also be filled with passion, love, and faith in G-d that He will once again pull us through, into peaceful Shabbat-like days.

I don’t want to show up empty-handed. While there on the ground, we will identify the most critical needs so we can provide actual support and uplift them in body and in spirit.

I invite you to participate in this Mitzvah by making a generous contribution to the Israel Emergency Fund, PLEASE CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION.

You can also donate through your DAF or mail a check to: Chabad Naples 1789 Mandarin Rd. Naples, FL 34102.

I conclude with a prayer: May He who makes peace on High make peace for us and for all Israel, Amen.

With deep gratitude and warmest blessings,

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

PS - I plan to send periodic updates while in Israel as well as report to you upon my return.

It's a big day... and an important day

Dear Friends,

This Sunday (beginning with Saturday night) is PURIM!

Purim celebrates our miraculous survival throughout history. It also celebrates our innate connection to our peoplehood, to each other, and to God. 

So it's a big day... and an important day. This year perhaps more than ever before in our lifetimes. Celebrate it! Don't let it be just another day. Capitalize on its energy to thank God for the miracle of Am Yisrael Chai, while asking Him to continue blessing and protecting our people everywhere.

Here's the way to spend the day: Spend it with the family. Dress the kids and grandkids in costumes. Drive 'em around town delivering food gifts to friends and family.

Plan on being at Chabad Naples to hear the Megillah, on Sunday at 11:15am. Click here to register your family for the Seussica Purim Family Celebration. Make it a day your family will remember and look forward to each year!

There are four special Mitzvahs, Commandments we perform today:

1. HEAR the reading of the Megillat Esther (story of Purim) on Purim night and again the next day.

2. SEND Mishloach Manot (food packages containing at least two ready-to eat items) to at least one friend.

3. GIVE Matanot La’evyonim (charity to the poor) to at least two needy people or put money into charity boxes. You can Donate Here and indicate that it’s for Purim charity and we’ll distribute it to the needy on Purim.

4. EAT a Purim feast during Purim day with family and friends. You can join our Community Purim Celebration, or have your own festive meal.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe of righteous memory would often encourage added Simcha, joy, which can break all boundaries and limitations. In the merit of our collective added joy, may it bring much needed peace in Israel and the world over and salvation and deliverance to the hostages and to the many who need it at this time. Amen!

We look forward to seeing the entire community, as we celebrate our grand Purim celebration this Sunday at 12:00pm. 

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

 

From First Purim to Flourishing Future

 

First purim.JPGDear Friends,

Purim was one of the very first events that we held in Naples.

It was our first opportunity to bond with the community in a real way and to begin to embrace each other with love and happiness.

Purim reminds us of when we began our journey with this beautiful community: it was much simpler but the foundation for the love and happiness we now enjoy.

When Ettie Zaklos and I arrived here Mendel was only a little boy and soon he will be 20 years old:)

How little we really understood when we first came here: at times success seemed insurmountable. We didn’t know anyone, the place was new, but we followed the message of Purim and continued with our dream.

We believed G-d is always working behind the scenes and if we did our part we would see our dreams unfold and become reality.

Today, just as with the Purim story, we see the miracle. We look with joy upon what we have established here in Naples together: a beautiful Chabad campus, a vibrant community, a hugely successful Naples Preschool of the Arts, and a center of love and light.

In these challenging days, we must try to keep our eyes focused on better times and keeping the miracle alive.

In your own life today you can absorb this message -- come & hear the story at Chabad Naples-- are you ready for it? It's one of the happiest festivals!

Connect with the past so it can guide us all for the future.

On a simple note it is the happiest day of the year, so let’s celebrate! There's a HUGE Purim Party planned tomorrow, Tuesday, March 7th at 5:30 pm.

Make your reservations now - space is limited! www.chabadnaples.com/purim  See you there

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie 

L’Chaim, to Life!

Dear Friends,

If there's one thing we all need now more than anything else it's INSPIRATION & STRENGTH.

Between the difficult news from the battlefield in Gaza, to the anti-Semitism around the world, we need to keep focused on our own values and identity, from which to find inner strength during these times of uncertainty.

It's very important for us to make the most of every opportunity to come together and demonstrate our common commitment to our heritage, culture and ideals.

This Monday night, our community will have the privilege of immersing in Tevye in New York! – Tom Dugan’s one-man show is based on Sholem Aleichem’s beloved characters immortalized in Fiddler on the Roof. This show takes up where the original stories left off as Tevye tries to balance tradition with what it means to be an American Jew.

Join us for this much anticipated event at Hilton Naples! You won't forget. Don't miss out! 

The Rebbe often spoke of turning pain into action, and tragedy into positive energy for goodness.

Ultimately, Jewish identity and continuity depends on one thing: Jewish wisdom. The teachings of our Torah are eternal and infused with meaning and depth. It’s a study, something to talk and think about, but it’s also a way to live and behave – with faith, humility, kindness and compassion.

So let us provide our families and children with deep a and meaningful Jewish education and experience.

Join us on Monday night as we take inspiration and energy from coming together as a community to celebrate Jewish life, and encourage ourselves and each other to move forward with strength and even optimism, as individuals and as a community.

85% Sold - Secure your ticket now and don't miss out on this unforgettable experience.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER. We hope to see you. 

“L’Chaim, to Life!” – a life of Yiddishkeit --- today, tomorrow, forever!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

The not-so-secret formula behind the success of Chabad and Preschool

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Dear Friends, 

In this week’s Torah portion we have the delivery of the ten commandments. It is interesting to note in  the scene at Mount Sinai, in the days leading up to that most awesome spiritual event in history,  G-d gives  Moses very specific instructions about conveying the message to the Jewish people:  in preparation for the big event, He tells Moses to first address “Bait Yakov” – the women – and only afterwards the men.   

The point was, that G-d knew  the only way His Torah would be properly received and effectively transmitted from one generation to the next was through the enhanced qualities of vision and foresight, clarity and intuition, loving and nurturing, that women bring to the table.

This is a phenomenon that we have seen throughout the millennia,  that there was  a more internal, far-sighted, and soul-based influence wielded by our strong and competent Jewish women.  These qualities  have served as our nation’s greatest source of salvation and most effective engine for positive change and growth. 

When we study the lives and times of the heroines of our history,  women like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, like Chana and Devora, Ruth and Queen Esther, and so many others,  the common thread among all of them was their keen ability to see beyond the difficult issues and challenges of the moment,  to the bigger picture of what it’s all about  and to act and lead the way with incredible boldness and selflessness.

This week is the International Chabad conference, attended by women hailing from around the world, as far away as Laos and Angola. As more than 3,000 Chabad women gather in Crown Heights, can you imagine the power emanating from there! This is a special time to acknowledge, as we all know, the not-so-secret formula behind the success of Chabad Naples and Preschool: it is Ettie.

The common saying that “behind every successful man is a woman” is not true in our case, as Ettie and I have proudly worked side by side for the past 20 years co-directing Chabad of Naples together as partners. 

L’chaim Ettie! L’chaim for everything you do for our Chabad of Naples & Preschool of the Arts, and for bringing so much joy and love into our community and our home. 

Rabbi Fishel Zaklos  

 

We feel crippled and trapped

Dear Friends,

Advice for Life:

The Rebbe's Advice for Leading a More Purposeful Life

The Rebbe's spiritual leadership is the force behind the modern Chabad movement. Join this new fascinating course to journey through the Rebbe's practical wisdom on work, family, health, and well-being. Discover how the Rebbe applied Jewish values to serve as a guide for finding deeper meaning in everyday life.

Experience the Rebbe's exceptional approach to uncovering timeless meaning in everyday questions of health, work, family, fulfillment, struggle, and inner peace.

Join us for a fascinating six-week course offering a close-up of the Rebbe's powerful and transformational Advice for Life.

Our first lesson kicks off at 7:00 PM - 8:35 PM on January 30 at Naples, and tackles the meaning of work, money, and career. Specifically, we’ll answer the question: Does work have inherent value and purpose?

In the weeks ahead, we’ll get a view of how Jewish values inform our quest to find meaning in life and answers to everyday dilemmas.

Starting January 30 at 7pm. Learn more and RSVP at www.chabadnaples.com/adulteducation

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When the Jewish people were leaving Egypt they were being chased by their oppressors and found themselves trapped between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea.

G-d had commanded them to continue traveling but, with the sea in their way, they were at loss about what to do.

According to our tradition it was only when Nachshon walked into the water until it came up to his nose that the sea miraculously split, and the Jews were able to cross on dry land. Nachshon knew that G-d had commanded them to travel, so he did his part and moved forward. In that merit G-d took care of the rest in a miraculous way.

There are times in our lives where we feel crippled and trapped. The ominous obstacles in front of us seem to be insurmountable. We learn from Nachshon that we don't have to figure it all out. Rather, we have to move forward and do whatever we can do. We must push ourselves and work towards our goal, even against impossible odds.

When we do this, G-d will split the troubled seas for us and we will find ourselves moving forward to achievements that are beyond our wildest dreams.

Wishing you and your family a warm and safe Shabbat,

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos


Thanks for everything colonel!

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Yesterday we honored the soul of our beloved Charles Sues, with so many of our community members present.

This picture was taken May 9, 2004 at a Torah dedication, and it’s a befitting tribute to his legacy, as a man who was unwavering in his dedication to Judaism. He was a proud American, a grateful and commited Jew, and a wonderful human being.

Whether joining us for Shabbat services or whipping me in tennis, Charles was a dear friend and supporter of the community in Naples and beyond.

He was a dedicated family man (married for 71 years!), an army veteran, and a man of big opinions and an even bigger heart. He believed there was a right way to do things, and he wasn't shy about telling you what that right way was.

He leaves behind an impressive number of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, to carry on the torch he fought so hard to keep lit. I’ve never seen someone beam with such pride as Charles when his grand children and great grandchildren would gather around him at the synagogue.

Thank you, Charles, for the honor of sharing 20 years with you. Thank you for teaching me what it means to be strong yet soft, fierce yet loving, determined yet caring; a strong Jew and a proud American.

We will certainly do our best to continue to honor his memory and gladden his soul.

Thanks for everything colonel!

You're Invited: Groundbreaking Ceremony

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Dear Friends,

Ettie and I are beyond thrilled to share with you that tomorrow we are finally breaking ground on the long-awaited Big Build!

So much work has been put into reaching this incredible milestone and we couldn't have done it without the remarkable support of our community.

You've supported and cheered us on since we announced this historic project and now we invite you- friends, supporters, alumni and community members to please join us in person as we break ground on a new chapter of our Jay and Patty Baker Preschool story.

Join us for the Groundbreaking Ceremony on Friday, January 19, at 9 AM. Kindly RSVP to [email protected]

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Where would we be without our dreams?

Dreams come in all sizes, and that’s what makes them so exciting and in some ways, so challenging.

No one can enforce what we dream, how we dream, or how large are dreams are: we are free to build and shape them as we desire. Perhaps it’s easier to realize a smaller dream, but there is nothing to stop us from dreaming large! Have you ever dreamed of winning a super large lottery, and then tried to decide what you would do with the proceeds and how many people’s lives you could improve?

Or perhaps, as you arise each day and thank G-d for merely restoring your soul, that’s quite enough for you. Maybe the dream of perfect happiness for you is walking in the sunshine on this earth and enjoying family and friends in good health.

Each time we enter our magnificent Chabad of Naples & Naples Preschool of the Arts and allow ourselves to absorb the holiness, beauty and joy and to focus on how many willing hands went into making this dream come true, that is when we can be truly thankful for realizing one of our most precious dreams. It may have seemed impossible at one time, but again, where would we be without our dreams?

So, let's continue dreaming together tomorrow.

Join us for the Groundbreaking Ceremony on Friday, January 19, at 9 AM. Please RSVP to office@[email protected].

Let's gather to celebrate this significant milestone and the bright future that lies ahead. We eagerly anticipate seeing everyone there!

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos 

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