Printed from ChabadNaples.com

Rabbi Fishel's Blog

Take Comfort, Take Comfort, My People

 STORMY WEATHER AHEAD 

 Dear Friends,  

Well dear Friends, it is Florida and in addition to that, do we have to remind ourselves that it is also hurricane season? Not likely! As we sit glued to our computer screens tracking Hurricane Isaias, we notice that it is beginning to pull eastward. Do you have the same inclination that I do, to take my finger and push it off even farther into the Atlantic where it cannot harm anyone?

It may be no coincidence that this weeks we read the Haftorah from Isaiah!  This Shabbat is called the ‘Shabbat of comfort’, based on Isaiah's prophecy: "Take comfort, take comfort, My people", following yesterday’s commemoration of the Temple's destruction on Tishah B'Av.

It may be safe to say that at no point in our adult lives have we felt so confused and vulnerable as we do today, with the virus, violence and political polarization that surrounds us. One of the many silver linings of Corona is our recognition that indeed we're not in control, which is a good first-step to the even more important realization: that someOne is!

The ‘Shabbat of Comfort’ comes right in time to remind us we're not alone. It reminds us someOne is in fact in charge, serving as Comforter in Chief for each of us individually, helping us deal with our individual challenges.

Lately when people express their feelings of utter despair at the current situation I find myself saying: just remember, G-d hasn't left the cockpit!

The first thing we want and pray for is for this pandemic to end, for people to have relief. Yet, our role is also to seek out the silver linings, the personal messages and opportunities the current situation presents to us.  If G-d asks it of us, it means we're up to the challenge.

Stay safe, stay home, and enjoy a beautiful and peaceful Shabbat!

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

 

CELEBRATING 102 WITH SPIRIT AND SPUNK

As the World Famous Chabad of Naples, we are fortunate to have a few National Treasures. One of them is our beloved Ruth Anderson who celebrates (are you ready for this?) her 102nd birthday on July 26th!

Ruth: a huge, MEGA MAZEL TOV to you from the entire Chabad Naples Mishpachah - we love you and wish you incredible blessings and many more years of healthy life!

We often say one is never too young to learn, but at the same time, one is never too old to teach (and learn), and Ruth has taught me some amazing things.

In the early days of this pandemic, instead of wallowing in self-pity at being isolated at home, Ruth kept busy, putting her sewing machine to work and creating face masks which she donated to others.

This is but one small example of her generosity and philanthropy. With her glowing smile, she is a wonderful example of how a daily positive and optimistic attitude and a sense of humor keep one mentally alert.

At dinner a few years ago, I asked Ruth to share her longevity ’secret’. She then told me that she writes an e-mail to G-d every night, thanking him. I recently reminded her about that and she said she still does it.

Perhaps we can all send Ruth a gift by doing the same thing - thanking G-d for all that we do have and for all that He has done for us.

If you would care to send a personal message to this remarkable woman please send me an email, I would be happy to pass it along to her for you.

With love and blessings,

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

Visualize a greater tomorrow.

Dear Friends,

Ten brilliant scholars stood outside the Rebbe's study. They were waiting for Rabbi Schneur Zalman, Chabad's first Rebbe (1745-1813), to share a mystical discourse. When the door opened, they all entered the room except for Rabbi Isaac. He was much younger than the others and held back.

The Rebbe asked, "Who remains outside?" Someone responded, "A young man."

"A young man can become an older man," the Rebbe replied, and Rabbi Isaac rejoined the group.

Later on, Rabbi Isaac related that the Rebbe's comment energized him with a profound psycho-spiritual boost. In the Rebbe's words, he had heard, "Don't be limited by your present capacity. You have an older, wiser man inside of you. Unlock him. Live the future now."

From that day, Rabbi Isaac's deeper potential began to unfold. His firm self-awareness, and his profound confidence in the Rebbe's guidance, triggered an internal transformation. He walked away from the Rebbe's room, able to see past today's limitations and live tomorrow's potential.

Each of us has the opportunity to gift ourselves with the awareness of our own potential. Give yourself a frame of reference as to who you could be: "Identify someone who you feel is successful, experienced, accomplished. And remember, that is who YOU could be. 

Look around. See what's possible. Visualize a greater tomorrow.
Live it today.

Shabbat Shalom with Love & Light,

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

Our world is full of Mona Lisa’s

I'm sure you need no reminder that this is the July 4th weekend.

Things are different this year, but that doesn't mean we can't celebrate: just being alive and able to enjoy some of those magnificent sunrises and sunsets is a real bonus! Being able to start the day enjoying the glory of the morning and end it with a sky so rich in color it seems unreal, fills the heart with joy.  

In between those two spectacular events, let's sit --- socially-spaced with friends and family and discuss all the wonderful freedoms we enjoy in America and how we should never take them for granted. At the same time, thinking of all the hours of stress and distress we have endured recently - I am sure we can contrast every negative event with a thought of a random act of kindness performed for us or by us. 

In 1911, the Louvre Museum in Paris fell victim to one of the world’s all-time great art heists when Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” was stolen. It remained missing for two years and in that time, more people went to stare at the blank space where it had previously resided, than had viewed the masterpiece in the previous twelve years! 

Human nature reveals so much. All too often, we fail to appreciate precious realities in our midst. Yet when they are taken from us, we become painfully aware of the ‘blank space’ in our lives. 

The truth is that our world is full of Mona Lisa’s, countless blessings that grace us daily, yet all too often we are oblivious to them … 

The Midrash asks what the definition is of a non-spiritual person? Answer: someone who is not alive to the wonder of G-d’s creation. 

If you have the awareness to thank G-d for the ‘Mona Lisa’s’ in your life, you are going to be alive with spirituality, let’s endeavor to collectively do this rather than focus on the blank spaces. 

Prayer reminds us that there is an abundance of heaven here on earth. We should open our eyes and treasure the ‘works of art’ all around us.

We are surrounded by many good and giving people and in turn, have many opportunities to return the favor.  After all, America is a land of opportunity - let's make use of that!

Happy Fourth of July - and stay safe!

THANK YOU, REBBE

 Fishey Rebbe.JPGEttie Rebbe.JPG

It was baschert! Even though Ettie Zaklos and I were very young, we headed in the same direction.

A day doesn’t pass, that we are not reminded of our dear Rebbe, who ignited our passion and gave our lives such meaning.

 

****

Yesterday, marked the 26th Yahrtzeit - anniversary of passing - of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of blessed memory.

The Rebbe's love and care for every person is legendary.

The Rebbe would say, look at another human being not simply as a being but as a soul. If we focus on what makes us the same, the divine spark that is within every one of us, we stop allowing our outer differences to divide us.

The Rebbe made it his life's mission to teach every human being how they can find their connection to G-d and find their enduring path of inspiration. It was never about him.

The Rebbe embraced each person unconditionally and expected us to do the same. In today's world of division, we need this non-judgmental love and acceptance more than ever.

While the Rebbe of blessed memory was a global leader who inspired people worldwide to do good, and the driving force behind the largest Jewish outreach movement in the world, the impact and influence he had on Ettie and me is incalculable.

Young as we were when we arrived in Naples 17 years ago, with little but dreams, hope, faith and will to sustain us, we were determined to make a positive difference and contribution to this community. When we look back now we sometimes wonder if it were the naivete of youth, but on reflection, this is exactly what the Rebbe taught: harness your strength, turn ideas into action, you can and will do it.

The Rebbe's secret of success was the empowering of all those whom he met; he recognized their untapped potential, and expressed his total trust in their abilities.

let us take a moment to think about unleashing our own untapped strengths, as well as making the effort to recognize the unique, blessings, gifts, and talents of our family and friends, and patiently nurturing them.

Thank you Rebbe for infusing such powerful purpose in our lives and countless others.

 

We will start small and rebuild again

As we slowly re-open the doors of our beloved Jewish Center, 

we will start small and rebuild again

We all - most humans on the planet - have been agonizing over how to transition into a re-opening phase in a way that safely balances our essential functioning needs with our health needs. We know that the spiritual home you call Chabad Naples provides many essential needs - educational, emotional, and of course spiritual. 

We've spent the better part of recent weeks setting out a re-opening protocol for Summer camp, and now by the grace of G-d, we're ready to re-open the Shul only for Shabbat day only. Services will be with restrictions and limited to a small number of congregants.

Please feel free to reach out with any and all questions. #inthistogether   

Guiding Principles:
 

1.            Our protocol and policies are reviewed by doctors and by rabbis who are experts in Jewish law application. (Jewish law mandates our strict adherence to medical authority as an utmost priority.)
 

2.            Everything is subject to change, as circumstances change. We're keeping a close eye on how well Florida transitions in the coming weeks and we will modify our protocol accordingly.
 

3.            Do what you feel is best for you - consult with your doctor as to the best way forward for your personal situation. And let's respect the rights of others to think and act differently during this time.

 

Click here for a description of the changes made in the center to ensure that we are all protected against the spread of COVID-19. Also outlined, is the code of behavior expected from those participating in services. 
 

Capacity is limited and it is open by pre-registration only. If you would like to attend, please email (office@chabadnaples.com) and you will receive a confirmation email. Unfortunately, it is not possible at this time to attend services without pre-registering. 

The most stringent guidelines will not completely obviate all risk that remains present. Therefore, anyone over 65 and/or someone who is more vulnerable to the virus due to

an underlying health condition, is asked to carefully consider this reality and consult with their personal physician, before attending services. 

We know these are uncertain and challenging times. While this email is welcome news for some, for others who either are unable to attend or who feel it remains unsafe to attend Shul at this time, it doesn't represent a significant change. We miss you, care about you, and can't wait to be together with you again.
 
Most importantly, we pray to Hashem to send a speedy recovery to all who are affected, to keep all of us healthy, and to protect our modern heroes who are helping our community and country during these difficult times - including healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, postal workers, delivery drivers, and so many more people.       

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We have no doubt that together, we will adapt well to this challenging time and, please G-d, emerge stronger as individuals and as a community.     

With much love and blessings,  

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

Arthur Seigel M.D.  

www.Jewishnaples.com/Relief   

 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation

Dear Friend,

Below is a description of the changes made in the center to ensure that we are all protected against the spread of COVID-19. Also outlined, is the code of behavior expected from those participating in services.  

This protocol adheres to the guidelines and advice provided by Center for Disease Control and was developed in consultation with infectious disease specialists who are familiar with our center. It is based on the current situation and will be revisited regularly and updated as needed.

Changes made in the Center

  • Chairs will be set up at a distance of at least 6 ft apart. 
  • Services will be run in a way that ensures everyone maintains a physical distance, unless they are family members. The Ba’al Koreh (who reads the Torah) will be the only person on the Bima and the blessing on the Torah will be made by each person from their place.
  • Sidurim, Chumashim (prayer and Torah books) and Talitot will not be used or touched for at-least 72 hours before Services.
  • The doors to the sanctuary will be propped open to avoid the need to touch door handles.
  • The door handles at the front entrance will be disinfected after each use.
  • Face masks will be available for those who need. We encourage you to bring your own.
  • Hand sanitizers will be placed at the entrance and throughout the Shul.
  • Kiddush lunches are suspended until further notice.
  • Chabad's Shabbat Services will be held on a scaled-down level (we will begin from Boruch Sehamar).

Code of behavior:

  • It is imperative that every person attending services is symptom-free. If you have the slightest doubt about your health or the health of those living with you, please stay at home.
  • If you have traveled outside of FL, please do not attend services for 14 days. This policy will be reassessed in 4 weeks’ time.
  • Face masks must be worn during the entire stay in the center.
  • Upon entering the building, each and every person must sanitize their hands and is encouraged to use the available hand sanitizers at every opportunity. Please refrain from kissing the mezuzah or the Torah.
  • A physical distance of at least 6 ft. must be maintained before, during and after Services. 
  • If you are over 65, or have underlying health conditions, please consult your medical doctor before coming out.

·         If you are uncertain if this is for you, do not feel guilty or pressured to participate. Guarding your health is the most important principle.

·         Upon arrival to the Shul, Anjel our security guard will check your temperature using a digital forehead thermometer.


Capacity is limited and it is open by pre-registration only. If you would like to attend, please email (office@chabadnaples.com) and you will receive a confirmation email. Unfortunately, it is not possible at this time to attend services without pre-registering.
 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We have no doubt that together, we will adapt well to this challenging time and, please G-d, emerge stronger as individuals and as a community!

We look forward to seeing you soon!

With friendship,

Rabbi Fishel Zaklos
Arthur Seigel M.D. 

 

ARMS STRONGER THAN OUR OWN

These days we are surrounded by unrest, confusion and indecision.

How many times do we try to reassure ourselves and say, “Well, this crazy world could be worse...” only to find out the next day, sadly, it is!

That’s when we have to dig a little deeper and call upon Hashem. let's put politics and arguments aside and take some time to look at each other with eyes wide open and hearts open even wider.

Let’s imagine those strong arms of G-d, crushing the negativity and uncertainty. We must continue more than ever to pray for the healing of our world and all who inhabit it.

We just saw the amazing and awesome ability of mankind to rise above the planet as the Dragon spacecraft slowly and forcefully ascended into the atmosphere.

How did that make you feel?

If we are capable of that almost unbelievable feat, then nothing should stop us with the power of our prayer behind us to reach amazing heights and accomplishments.

Let us pray for the ability to rise above all the disorder and negativity that assaults us on a daily basis, and concentrate on mankind’s inherent goodness from being created in the image of G-d.

Let this image be our steadfast companion as we lead our family and friends through trying times.

With prayers for peace and security.

 

 

Solidarity

The Jewish Community of Greater Naples is fortunate to have congregations that each inspire and teach us. The Jewish Federation of Greater Naples applauds the leaderships of our congregations in helping our community through these challenging times due to the Coronavirus. This is a true sign of community solidarity as we each work to build our community TOGETHER!

Jane Schiff, Board Chair Jeffrey Feld, President & CEO

Jewish Federation of Greater Naples

Dear Friend(s),

 

Kol Ha-Olam Kulo Gesher Tzar M’od, V’ha-ikar lo l’fachad k’lal

“The whole world is a narrow bridge, and the main thing is to not have fear.”

That teaching from Reb Nachman of Bratzlav resonates with us during this time. We feel the narrowness of the world, we sense its fragility, yet we also seek to live by our hope, not our fear. Toward that end, the ordained Jewish clergy of our community have come together to send you this message in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples.

We all value the importance of pikuach nefesh, protecting human life. Motivated by this core Jewish value, we recognized the importance of social distancing as a response to COVID-19. Over the last two months, our congregations have gone to new places in order to care for our community. In lieu of our traditional interactions, they have engaged with classes and programs over Zoom, worship online, food access programs, and distance pastoral care. When it is all said and done, we will emerge from this experience stronger, more appreciative, inspired, and better prepared to face the future. We have learned many times throughout history that simply because we haven’t physically been together, it in no way infers that the bonds which unite us and the connections we feel are any less strong in the absence of physical gathering.

We look forward to being able to be together again. Like you, we miss having our community and friends gathering together. Each organization will make its own decisions regarding a timetable for moving forward. Understanding the importance of safeguarding life, we will wait patiently for our state and local officials to establish safe protocols for us to come together again. In the meantime, we urge everyone to continue taking appropriate precautions, wear masks and maintain social distancing when going out for essential needs, continue to maintain social distancing when walking and exercising outside, refrain from communal gatherings and continue to be vigilant with hand washing.

Our sages tell the story of King Solomon searching for a message that could inspire hope as well as provide humility. Solomon is given the answer, “*gam zeh ya’avor – *this too shall pass.” This plague of COVID-19 will pass in time. Know that our Jewish community will be here, remaining strong together. Until that time, stay safe and be healthy.

Shalom re'fuah u'vracha - wishing you peace, health, and blessing,

Cantor Donna Azu

Temple Shalom of Naples

Rabbi Ariel Boxman

Temple Shalom of Naples

Rabbi Ammos Chorny

Beth Tikvah

Rabbi Mark Gross

Jewish Congregation of Marco Island

Rabbi Howard Herman

Naples Jewish Congregation

Rabbi Adam Miller

Temple Shalom of Naples

Rabbi Fishel Zaklos

Chabad of Naples

 

Dig down into our reserves

Dear Friends,    

We have now come to the end of Pesach, the festival of freedom. Is it simply a case of waving goodbye to this holiday, its different foods and traditions? Not so fast! Some have the custom at the Seder to say: Chasal Siddur Pesach - the order of Pesach is now finished. Yet others prefer not to. 

Why not? Because the essential spiritual task of Pesach - the liberation of our soul from the constraints of our inner Egypt - does not end when Pesach concludes. Its lessons remain with us and sustain us throughout every day of the year. 

This journey, this story is not over. It began with our ancestors long ago; it continues with us now. We remember not merely out of nostalgia - we do so because now it is our turn to add to the narrative, throughout the coming year. And we certainly have a global plague-related saga to share! 

We hope everyone is well and not too stressed out from a case of cabin fever.  At the beginning of our 'voluntary incarceration' a few weeks ago, it may have been a little easier to keep our spirits high and actually enjoy being at home most of the time. Zoom was new, meeting on Facebook live was new, and we were still relatively happy.    

Now as the days, weeks and possibly months pass, time seems to move very slowly, one day passes much the same as the last, and routines become almost boring and mundane. It may be getting to us. Now is the time we need blessings, to dig down into our reserves to find the strength to carry on in a happy frame of mind.    

You know how much I value two-way communication and appreciate your feedback and suggestions. Staying in touch and connected helps to ride the waves - please keep your thoughts coming!

I wish you and your dear family a wonderful and safe Shabbat! We are mishpochah and we are in this together, now and always!  

 Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos 

 

 

Why is this Passover different from all others?

The past few weeks have plunged us all into a world of chaos, instability, and uncertainty, a world that we hardly recognize. The Passover Seder is just days away. The definition of 'Seder' is 'order,' precisely the safety net we now crave. First, we must hear the message of our Seder. Know without a doubt that we are not alone in this world. Just as our people wondered in Egypt if they would ever get out of the awful darkness they were suffering, we too may wonder: Are we spiraling out of control? Will we ever see the light again?

Why is this Passover different from all others? And yet, the same? It is the season of our freedom - and freedom is a state of mind. It’s up to us, how we choose to perceive and spend this Passover. These days, it’s our state of mind that will carry us through these trying times. It’s not the first time the Jewish people, or other downtrodden groups   have been put ‘on trial’, unfortunately, and now the situation is universal and we are all in this together - what a monumental challenge for G-d! 

Just look at Jewish history and the times we were filled with pain and suffering, and we survived. We survived as stronger people, to enjoy the sweetness that followed.

Seder night comes to teach us perspective for life. There is marror (bitter herbs); it is true. Our forefathers had many moments of grief. There were times that they were anguished and felt as if they had lost their spirit. But they did not allow the marror moments to overcome them. They were not stripped of their faith. We dip the marror into charoset - a delicious mixture of apples, nuts, wine and dates - to teach us that even in the most difficult of times we must see the sweetness that imbues our life. The friendships, the love, the resilience, the kindness that surrounds us. G-d took us out of Egypt, and we will get out of this darkness too.

At our Seder we make a sandwich of matzah and marror with a bit of charoset, for such is life. Sandwiched between the hardships are the flashes of joy. Grab onto them! Seize the moment.

With quarantines and social distancing, take this time to build a bridge. Call someone you've lost touch with. Think of others who are feeling isolated right now and hug them with your heart.

This one germ has spread throughout the world and created havoc. Imagine how one good word, one good deed could spread throughout the world and counter the devastation. Your light could spread from one person to another, and on and on. The antidote to destruction is creation. Create goodness. Be a blessing.

May this Shabbas message bring us all the comfort we deserve and the strength to establish that mindset that will grant us the patience to appreciate all the good things G-d has given us, while facing adversity. We still have the freedom to ask Him for His continued blessings - what a gift that is! Remember in good and in not-so-good times, to thank G-d for allowing us to ask, and for his loving care.

And please remember the words of the Rebbe, Rabbi Schneerson: TRACHT GUT VET ZEIN GUT - THINK GOOD & IT'LL BE GOOD!  

The gift of Shabbat

Thank you!  

We must begin with a prayer to G-d that all the ill be healed, all the grieved be comforted, that all the medical heroes find strength (!), that all the researchers find the vaccine, and that all governments govern with mercy and with wisdom!  

This is an unprecedented time in the history of mankind. Never before has Planet Earth witnessed such a mass effort of every human being wherever they may be concentrating their focus in one direction: fighting an illness! 

It's unfortunate that it's taken this terrible virus to bring us all together, but now that we're here we need to learn and grow from this experience. The world must become a better place when this thing is over - better than it was before COVID-19 attacked.  

That's exactly what Shabbat is about. The gift of Shabbat is the gift of a mandated pause in time, forcing us to reflect on the week that has passed so that we can improve in the week ahead. 

We have closed so many doors these last few days, no one has been entering our homes...

But tonight we have an opportunity to host a guest who seeks our company, as we seek her peace and camaraderie.

Her name is Shabbos... Close your connection to the outside world and allow your inner world to blossom and to thrive.
 

Welcome her light into your home, as the sun begins to set on Friday (at 7:21pm in Naples), enjoy her company until Saturday after nightfall (8:13pm) and from there the light will go viral to your friends, neighbors and family.
 

Let's make this world shine forever!

To our dear community

And you shall guard your lives very well 

Deuteronomy 4:15

To our dear community,

I hope and pray you and your loved ones are ok.
 
As the spread of COVID-19 continues, Chabad of Naples is focusing on health and safety, especially to protect vulnerable people in our community.

With heavy hearts, we regret to inform you that Chabad of Naples has suspended all programming and upcoming events, including synagogue services, until further notice. We do so with an eye to Judaism’s foundational teachings about the preservation of life.

It is at unpredictable times like this that we must turn to each other with support and look for ways to be of service. Please let us know if there is any way we can assist you.
 
In addition, if anyone who would like to volunteer to help our community - by helping purchase groceries for the elderly and those at higher risk or in other community-minded ways - please reach out. We are stronger together and we will get through this as a community. 

Our team is working to set up a proactive Chessed committee charged with the task of reaching out to those who are most vulnerable in our community.

Members are ready-to-go and will call you, shop for you, deliver to you, speak with you and help you through this. If this applies to you or someone in your world, please call us if you need assistance.

We must also never lose sight of the importance and power of prayer. It is vital that we continue to focus our hearts and minds in prayer to Almighty G-d, who provides the ultimate means of protection and healing for the entire world.

We assembled select prayers as well as other resources, including a free quarantine Kaddish service, for those that cannot make it to synagogue.

Please visit our ever-expanding section on our website at Www.chabadnaples.com/coronavirus.

Please know that we will communicate with you and share all information as we receive it. We are, first and foremost, mishpochah, our communication is two-way. Reach out, contact us if you need - we are here, day and night. 

Connection to our community is what we are all about. So much of our world revolves around our close connection with each other. We love and cherish that.

We are going through trying times. Let’s be there for each other. Every challenge is an opportunity. Let’s make the best of the situation we are all in. If you know of someone that can use a helping hand or if you are available to give a helping hand to someone in need, please contact us. As always, if there is anything we can do to help you, a loved one or anyone else, please reach out to us.

We will be continually monitoring the latest advisories and relevant information regarding COVID-19 from the CDC website, while also consulting with other organizational leaders on how to take the most proactive approach to prevent the spread of the virus.

May G-d bless and protect you and your families and keep you safe.

We can’t wait to daven and dance with you once again. As your rabbi, and as your friends, we are here.

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos
Arthur Seigel M. D.

 

 

 

Friends in High Places

Friends in High Places

These are trying times for all of us, to say the least, and I just want to share a few thoughts with you before, G-d willing, we put out a more formal statement tomorrow.

We are surrounded on all sides by the Corona Virus. Everyone and everything is being consumed and overwhelmed: countries are shutting their entries and borders, sports are suspended, much recreational travel has been halted. Many shelves are empty in our local supermarkets as people rush to stock their pantries. The fear is real as we pray for medical science to find a cure quickly.  

 

How can we help? We cannot allow ourselves to succumb to fear and panic, allowing negative perceptions and predictions to cripple us completely. Life must go on, and part of guarding our physical health, involves maintaining our mental and emotional health. We know the value of ‘talk therapy’, and how just being able to speak with a friend often makes us feel so much better. And where could we find a better friend?

Perhaps we can talk with G-d, and spend some time with Him in prayer. We should not disregard or fail to appreciate the power of prayer at this time. We should also talk with our friends, keeping elderly, homebound, and solitary people in mind and reach out with a phone call to chat and show we are thinking of them.

After touching base with a few people earlier today, I could see how uplifting it was for them to have the contact with another person. Showing that we care is a simple thing that has a huge impact and takes so little of our time.

Coming together this morning for prayer was a comforting and healing process for us. Although a smaller number attended, we were humbled and reminded of our fragility and vulnerability. When we recited the famous Shma Koileinu prayer, we knew G-d heard our voices.

As we double down on our healthy practices such as hand washing thoroughly, avoiding large crowds, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching the face and other people, let us not ignore our simple but very important spiritual needs.

May Hashem bless humanity with the insight and the capability to cure this virus and end its path of disease, thereby bringing health, prosperity and goodness to the world.

 

save one life is to save the world

As we count down this weekend to Purim, let us hope and pray that the only thing going viral is a spirit of cooperation, unity, and love.

Dear Friends,

We are all concerned about the spread of the Coronavirus. We need to intensify prayers for healing for all those infected, and for this fear to pass quickly. Join us this Shabbat Morning for special prayers to heal and arrest the Coronavirus. The Special prayers will be said at 11:15 AM when the Ark is opened. Join us as for long as you wish.

As the coronavirus spreads across the world, it reminds us, in the most powerful way, of our common humanity. The virus does not recognize race, religion or nationality. We are all equal – all human beings as brothers and sisters together facing a shared crisis.

Our sages teach us that to “save one life is to save the world”. We need to take every precaution to protect and defend human life, especially those who are most vulnerable to this virus.

1. Wash your hands thoroughly before entering shul, with an alcohol based hand wash. Hand hygiene and regular washing of hands is the most important precautionary measure. Wash the front and back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails for 20 seconds (or enough time to sing “Happy Birthday” twice).

2. No handshaking.

3. No hugging and kissing.

4. Anyone who is ill with respiratory symptoms such as a fever, sore throat, coughing and sneezing should avoid coming to shul and infecting others.

5. Anyone with a travel history in the past 21 days to any area that has had an outbreak of COVID-19 should also not come to shul for least 14 days, as they may be asymptomatic carriers.

Chabad Jewish Center remains open as usual, and we encourage you to participate in upcoming Shabbat, and especially the PURIM festivities.

At a time like this, when tension and stress may be elevated, the fabric of community keeps us strong. Please see how you can increase in acts of compassion and support for people in the community, who may need them more now than ever.

Uplifting messages:

May Hashem bless humanity with the insight and the capability to cure this virus and end its path of disease, thereby bringing health, prosperity and goodness to the world.

With blessings

Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos and Happy Purim

 Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

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