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Rabbi Fishel's Blog

surprise 70th birthday party for my father

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One of the best things about family is the connection we have not just through our 'blood ties' but through our hearts. Even if we don’t have an opportunity speak every day, every week, or every month -- when we do come together it's as if we were never apart.

This past Monday I joined seven of my siblings in CA for a surprise70th birthday party for my father. With me were the siblings who were able to attend and 34 grandchildren from cities such as Melbourne, Australia, Greensboro, NC, Buffalo NY.  We came to celebrate, making it the first opportunity in a long time that we all got together. It was such a special time meeting with everyone and realizing a younger brother had really grown up!

We were truly blessed; thank G-D, by having parents who are such amazing role models.

To be perfectly honest, I often wonder where I would be today, were it not for the "anchors of steel" with which my father and mother fortified my siblings and me when we were growing up: anchors of belief; anchors of loving a fellow human being. For them, concepts of kindness and generosity are not just a nice song or slogan from Ecclesiastes, they are the very essence and embodiment of who we are and what we're all about! Our parents are our mentors and role models for everything we do in our lives, all of our orders of priority; in all of our actions and all of our reactions to life's events. They accomplished this not merely by talking the talk, but by walking the walk - - setting living examples 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It's not what they said about how we ought to act that made the strongest impressions on us (though they surely did say some very wise and wonderful, profound insightful things to us over the years), it was what they showed us in their actions, attitude and behavior that made those very powerful and indelible impressions on us, and paved the paths for us to become the adults, parents and leaders we are today. We are truly blessed.

What amazes me is that although we all have our own lives and thank G-d children of our own, when we came together it is as if we are back at home laughing, smiling, cracking up, and crying tears of joy together as if we have never been apart. And that is the best feeling n the word, the greatest comfort.

I feel the same with our Chabad Naples family. We are throwing a surprise birthday for our Father in heaven, G-d, and all of Naples is invited. Yes, we may not speak all the time, we may just see each other a few times during the year, but I promise you when we meet for this special party on Rosh Hashanah (Sep. 13-15) we will all come together as if we have never parted: we will unite to laugh, pray, learn, and rejoice as family   -- without the blood ties; nevertheless we will join our hearts and meet as a close and loving family in our Chabad home together.

So, who is in?

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