Rabbi Fishel's Blog

Be prepared to occasionally let go

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Dear Friends,

This week we welcomed the new Hebrew Month of Miracles, Nissan. One of the greatest of these was the miracle of parting the sea as the Jews left Egypt. Just picture the Jews sandwiched between the endless menacing sea and the advancing Egyptian army. What can be done?  Moses realized that the only way they could save themselves would be to go into the water. He commanded everyone to follow him but they all resisted, frightened and thinking he had lost his mind. Then one of them, Nachshon, stepped up and went into the waves. First his legs disappeared, and then his chest and everyone feared he was drowning. Just as the waters hit his nose, the sea divided!

Sometimes we just have to take that extra step forward, without any evidence or reassurance that things will work out. I’m not suggesting that we blindly and thoughtlessly forge ahead into dangerous uncharted territory, but we have to be prepared to occasionally let go, quit worrying so much and clear the way for greatness and even miracles to enter our lives.

It was so amazing when last week Seacrest middle school theater group came to perform for Preschool of the Arts. They had heard so much about us and some of our graduates go to their school. Just 13 years ago we were unknown, and now others reach out to the icon preschool — what a miracle! Let's continue doing and making the first move and leave the rest to G-d.

As it says in psalms, cast your worries upon G-d and he will contain it, or as the famous saying goes, “Don’t tell G-d how big your problems are, tell your problems how big G-d is.”
It’s not always easy, but it is the month of miracles so we have that extra energy.


"Love your fellow as yourself", Rabbi Akiva says this is THE cardinal principle of the Torah!
Why is it the most important thing in Judaism? Because the greatest fear a person has is the fear of loneliness, of being alone, of not being cared for by anyone. There are many challenges that life can throw at someone, but the strength that comes from knowing that we are not alone in this challenge, that we have the empathy, love and tears of a friend or loved one, often gives us the ability to overcome anything. The one time we feel helpless is when we sense that noone cares and that we don't matter..
Loneliness may not seem as threatening as the other challenges in life, but it undermines us in a way that no other challenge does. So when we reach out to another individual and simply show them that we are "with them", we may not have directly provided them with the answer to their problems, but we have given them something more important: the strength to find the way to overcome the problem itself.
As Passover approaches we would be wise to think of the first revelation of G-d to Moses: in a bush full of thorns. Why a thorn bush of all places? G-d was sending Moses and the People of Israel a message: So long that you dwell in suffering and slavery, that's where I dwell as well. I am with you in your pain and suffering. That knowledge was the beginning of the redemption.
Have you eliminated someone's loneliness lately?

If you know of someone in need of a Pesach Seder or something else, please contact Rabbi Zaklos @ [email protected]

Is there anything else we can help you for the holiday? please email [email protected]

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

G-d is Everywhere




G-d is Everywhere

Although we don’t need proof of G-d’s overarching presence, it’s always pleasantly reassuring when we get a sign.

As Mendel, Yitzi and I were going around town giving Shalach MANOT for Purim — and I am truly grateful for my enthusiastic helpers for bringing the real message of Purim: joy, love to our friends, family and community - a wonderful thing happened.

As we were passing by on 5th Avenue, a fellow named Jake called out, “ Hello”. As we spoke he said that an hour earlier he had asked his friend Bar where to go to a Purim party --- in Naples? They just moved to town.

He said to us in these words, "I promise you I know G-d sent you."
How happy we were to be able to invite them to our special Purim Party tomorrow!

Is there a message here? Of course there is! All you have to do is go out and spread the joy and you will lift up both yourself and others. Furthermore, is there any doubt that G-d listens? Call out, ask for what you need, and you never know. G-d has His ways!


Yes, I also do headstands:)



 There’s an old phrase, “Stand on your head and spit wooden nickels”.  It  referred to accomplishing an impossible feat.  Although spitting nickels of any kind is beyond my capabilities,  Purim is a time to shake things up a little.  It’s a holiday that teaches us that  the days of sadness will be transformed into joy, so sometimes we have to turn our lives upside down,  stand on our heads,  and gain an entirely different perspective on life.  In addition to disrupting things temporarily by my  juggling, yes, I also do headstands. What can we possibly learn from this?  Our topsy turvy world doesn't always have to be out of control:  we can change it, put it right, and stand it on its feet once again.   




Here he is again - and still smiling! This time our cheery emoji with his big smile is anticipating  a very special Purim. The happiness evident on his face, which summons a large smile as a quick response, could be why we chose him as this year’s Purim mascot.  Happiness fuels the flame that helps to melt the paralysis that prevents us from focusing on the joy of the holiday.

So kick back, summon your personal emoji and come along to the Chabad Family Purim Celebration on Sunday, March 12 at 11 AM.  

Brunch, desserts, face painting, prize for costumes, live music, hamentaschen, gragers, arts and crafts -no wonder he’s smiling!

Visit the website by clicking here or call the office for reservations!😁
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This jolly little Punim!


Although many of us are familiar with this jolly little punim, perhaps we were more than surprised to find evidence of his presence almost all weekend at Chabad of Naples.   Even when the message was serious, it was delivered with a smile!  We all came together to participate in a peaceful Shabbat service Friday night, a delicious traditional dinner, and then a hear a very non-traditional but most enjoyable talk  by David Nesenoff.  The warmth and beauty of our usual Shabbat services and kiddush were enhanced by the presence of David and his wife Nancy, and his special messages delivered in his unique style, (proving Rabbi Fishel does not have the corner on the market of humorous rabbis)! 

How good it was to be able to come together as we do every Shabbat to pray, to schmooze, and just bask in the warm comfort and friendliness of our Naples Shabbat family!


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