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Rabbi Fishel's Blog

to make everyone feel welcome and at home

Dear Friend, 

We hope that you and your loved ones are well. We are presently making preparations for the upcoming High Holidays as we look forward to an invigorating and peaceful New Year. 

High Holiday services with Chabad are designed to make everyone feel welcome and at home. The prayers, conducted with Hebrew/English prayer- books, are lively, engaging and inclusive - spiced with inspiring tunes and insightful explanations throughout - allowing all to absorb the experience at their own level. Sermons and announcements likewise speak to all participants and are always, relevant, stimulating and enlightening. 

High Holiday services are open to all from all walks of life. It is this spirit of unity and sense of belonging that permeates the entire atmosphere throughout all services. Our doors and our hearts are always open to you.
We look forward to greeting you personally.

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May Your New Year Be Blue!


May Your New Year Be Blue!

We are approaching the High Holidays, a time when we traditionally look back on our lives, assess them, and then look forward to the coming year as we ask the following questions: What kind of job have I done, and can I improve it? Can I make my life more meaningful?  How can I increase my family’s knowledge and sensitivity toward a Jewish life?

Sometimes our most powerful lessons and advice come not from books or seeking out sage advice, but from looking at the world around us.

Are you aware that a longer, healthier life could be within your reach? The Blue Zone, brought to a neighborhood near you by Dr. Alan Weiss of NCH, may have the perfect answer.

Blue Zone is a worldwide movement to transform the wellbeing of a community by encouraging small but significant changes to lifestyles which will result in healthier, happier people who live longer and better. People who live in Blue Zones around the world commonly live to 100 years of age. They share similar habits such as participation in purposeful lives, following plant-based diets, enjoying moderate amounts of red wine, attending spiritual events, down-shifting stress levels, living within multigenerational families, and belonging to faith-based communities. 

As a rabbi, husband and father, I am excited to hear that NCH made a 10-year commitment to bring Blue Zone to our community.  One of the commandments in the Torah is as one studies, not to neglect to exercise  and care for the body, and there are many other parallels between Judaism and a Blue Zone life as well.
One of the steps of this project is to wake up with purpose each day. Our tradition teaches us that G-d created the world in an unfinished state and made us His partners to complete perfecting it. That is why we celebrate Rosh Hashanah on the birthday of Adam and Eve, not on the first day of creation: we realize we are part of G-d’s master plan of creation. Each positive deed or act of kindness, no matter how small, makes a difference, gives us purpose each day and enhances the quality of our lives and those around us. Teach your children by example.

Down-shift, find a stress-relieving strategy to counter obligations and busy schedules. Look no further than the gift of Shabbat or our High Holidays as days of rest, time to wind down and spend quality family time - another one of the steps. 

But my favorite step is to belong and participate in a faith-based community. It has been my experience, (not totally unbiased as you might imagine) that belonging to Naples Chabad, which offers faith, social, and humanitarian services will increase your happiness and enhance the quality of your life. 

We all want our children and friends to enjoy quality living. Take advantage of the Blue Zone project to be guided to a Happy New Year.

We must remember that Israel, where our brothers and sisters need our support, is also part of our family.  Take the time to learn more and teach your children about Israel, or visit there to touch base with your heritage, in this country that has been our beacon of light and inspiration.

With the holidays at hand, I encourage you to “take the pledge”. Join us and a group of faith-based, like-minded people and families starting the New Year afresh, with a clear strategy to improve not only their physical lives but also their emotional and spiritual well being. See you in the Blue Zone?

With blessings for a truly Happy New Year

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

I have but one desire


School days are never blue days at Chabad of Naples Preschool of the Arts, and that is no accident.  For the past few weeks as I have  I observed the teachers training with coaches, learning how to give the very best to the children and setting up their classrooms to prepare for the year ahead, I have but one desire:  I send them all special heartfelt blessings to have the strength, the wisdom, and the ability to reach out and touch each child, challenging his or her utmost potential.  It's a gigantic responsibility with a huge reward, that may not always be immediately visible. I include my wife Ettie, Director of the school hat she may have continued strength and blessings in realizing  this quest.

It takes infinite dedication and patience to win the Best Child Care Award for four consecutive years, but the greatest reward is to see how the children walk out of the Preschool with the confidence to move on and take the next step.

we will remember this special Neshamah

Tonight marks the end of shivah for Dr. Elliot Zaleznik,  may his precious soul be comforted.

Davening at his home, surrounded by a Torah and other holy books, I was reminded that he passed away on Sunday of the week when we read from the Torah portion of Reeh, which means 'to see’.  I thought  of Moses saying, "See, I have given you so much…". Sages say that Moses was saying the way you see things is a blessing in and of itself. While at the shiva for the precious soul of  Eliyahu ben Pinchas I was remembering this precious soul and how whenever he met with people he always saw the blessing. He was humorous, he realized and saw what was important. He supported many of the Jewish centers from Fort Myers to Naples. The entire Naples Jewish community was touched by him in some way.

There is the saying that the world stands on three things: Torah, prayer, and charity. This is what his world was about: he loved Judaica, he loved Judaism and the Torah, he loved shul and to pray, and most of all he was known for his kindness and generosity. He treated everyone with respect, and so this week as we read the Torah portion  which talks about how to open your heart to others, we will remember this special neshamah who returned his soul to his maker. His memory will be a blessing, as he will remembered for his goodness and Chesed.

Our heartfelt condolence wishes are extended to The Zaleznik family. May the Zaleznik family & our community only know of Simchas.

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