Rabbi Fishel's Blog

Happiness is a cracked iPhone screen

 broken apple screen.jpeg

How can that be? As dependent as we all have become on our technological devices, how can a broken, absolutely necessary i-Phone bring happiness? Stay tuned.

Frantic when I was unable to retrieve messages and texts, I made sure I would be at the Apple store when it opened, knowing it would take some time to get me up and connected again.  There I was at 9:50 a.m., in line with a horde of other eager people, waiting for the doors to open. What's going on, I wondered, did I miss something? Is this the debut of yet another Apple product like the i-Watch?  No, it seems it's just another ordinary day.  At exactly 10 o'clock the doors opened, and as I was at the back of the line I couldn't see what all the commotion was about, but I did hear something that made me draw closer.
You may have seen this, but as this was my first time I was shocked to see 25 Apple employees standing at the front of the store, clapping their hands and welcoming the customers for the day.
"What did I miss?"  I asked.  "A service?  Are you looking for a rabbi to lead the clapping and singing?"
While I made my appointment, the broken screen became secondary as I chatted with and quizzed the employee for some time about, "What's up with the clapping?"
"Oh,"  he said, "we begin each day with all the employees together doing what is called 'a download', where we talk about the state of the company, our goals and what we are all about. Then we welcome the day by opening the doors with major clapping."
So I asked why and he said because at Apple it's all about the experience, and they want the costomer to feel special. We then talked a lot about how Apple doesn't push products or 'up-sell' customers in any way.  Employees are not on commission, they are there to help the customer and want to ensure the best experience possible. They don't have to sell the product: the product sells itself -- employees are there to help.
So what does Apple have in common with Chabad Naples? I truly feel the same at Naples Chabad where daily I can sense the energy, the experience of  'coming home' from the moment I step into our campus buildings. I should be standing at the door all day every day and clapping, because from early morning so many people are continually walking through our doors, beginning with 180 camp children to friends for services,  or just someone that wants to feel comfortable in a place to call home. At  Naples Chabad  you will have the same experience: you will feel welcome and special. 
As we prepare for the high holidays where it's easy to  feel overwhelmed by the service or by anything else, please know that here you will be welomed with applause -- perhaps not literally but figuratively (at least until we import all 25 employees from Apple to Chabad). Until then you will feel the virtual clap every time you come to Chabad and like Apple, we don't try or need to 'up-sell' our product. We are just here to help, whether it's your 'broken screen'  or questions about your own commitment and spirituality.  We are here to offer comfort and  help in any way we can.  Come for a chat and stay: you will feel like part of our family.


what a labor of love!

holy ark.jpg

This week was the beginning of another dream come true, as early Wednesday morning a truck pulled up to our Naples Chabad campus and a veritable team of workers began to unload and install our new Aron Kodesh.  After two years of careful design, approval, and waiting for the new Torah home, it's here! What a labor of love, performed by these artisans as they set this wonderful new community gift in place.  All the excitement is well worth it, as we anticipate the many happy simchot we will celebrate in front of it together.  Many thanks to the Elias & Yitzhak families, and to all of those who have participated by partnering and will continue to partner to make it possible.


It's always exciting when we begin to realize the dream, and as we observed the installation of our new Aron Kodesh   

as it arrived from Israel, it was a strong reminder once more of just how much we have accomplished with the diligent help of our partners and our community. At the same time,as we imagine how a completely renewed sanctuary will look,  and as we face what is required to finish the project,  we understand the work is just beginning, and ask for your continuing partnership and support.

Please accept our thanks, appreciation and gratitude,  in a great beginning to all of you who rallied with us to bring us this far.  This home belongs to all of us and is an investment in our spiritual future together. Join today!
Chabad is our spiritual home, and America is where we live. On July 4th of every year, we celebrate our freedom and independence. Our ability to enjoy those rights should be celebrated, with family and friends.  We wish you all a safe, happy, and healthy holiday weekend spent with those you love.
With love and blessings from the Glassman Naples Chabad Center.


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