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Rabbi Fishel's Blog

Sharing the Wonder in the Familiar

 

Sharing the Wonder in the Familiar

How refreshing it was on Monday of this week, when so many people seemed united, concentrating one one uplifting event: the eclipse. Throughout the country people were handing out the special glasses to share with each other, their friends, and others to witness the event.

The atmosphere was one of happy sharing and excitement as everyone looked heavenward, concentrating on the major event in the sky.

For at least an hour we were all looking up, not down at the world and each other.

For a least an hour, we were able to set our differences aside to marvel and rejoice in this wonderful world we inhabit together.

For at least an hour, we shared the fascinating, beautiful world of science and nature.

For at least an hour, we were happy and willing to share a wonderful experience.

What a joyous world this would be, if we created and made a little effort to carry moments like this forward in our lives. We don’t need an eclipse: daily we have the reality of exciting sunsets and inspiring sunrises, possibly the excitement of dazzling and noisy thunderstorms, and perhaps the glory of a colorful rainbow. Let’s take the time to look around us, appreciate what we may take for granted, and share it with each other.

Love Eclipsing Hate

 

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Dear Friends,

Monday of next week we will have the extraordinary experience of witnessing a solar eclipse. For a relatively brief period of time, the light will be hidden, the world will be in darkness. In our minds we know that as one planet passes in front of another, the darkness will be temporary. Science and reason tell us that. Everything in the physical world parallels the spiritual. Our faith and belief give us the same kind of reassurance in our hearts, that light will return to our troubled world even more quickly.

Images of hatred, the likes of which we haven't seen in our lifetimes, have recently re-emerged. We cannot ignore the recent events in the world, most recently in Charlottesville and in Spain, more events in a series of senselessness, and horrific killings and injury of innocent people. As empathetic, loving human beings who care about each other, we cannot allow time to turn back to a dark era where millions were murdered because of their beliefs or how they looked. We must be able to clarify evil and recognize it for what it is. To ignore these deaths is to accept them and to accept the evil that caused these massacres.

Silence in the face of evil is not only immoral - it is dangerous. Because when it is not stopped, then everyone becomes a victim. We must uproot the evil before it gets another chance to strike.

In addition, here is what we will do:

For every offensive slogan that their vile mouths utter, we will replace it with kind greetings to strangers that we meet today. For every precious life snuffed out, we commit to enhancing the lives of underprivileged members of society.

For every repulsive symbol that their bloody hands wave, we will raise symbols of our pride - Mezuzahs on our doors, Tefillin on our arms and Shabbat candles for women to wave their hands over and usher in our weekly day of peace.

So as we welcome Shabbat this evening let us light our Shabbat Candles and usher in the light and the goodness of Mitzvot into our lives, and let us not be blinded by evil, but meet it head-on with all the love and blessings we can muster.

As Ettie shares the Shabbat blessings with the children, experiencing their first Shabbat of the Preschool year, we realize how much more of this we need -- we must bring more light and love into the world -- they are our hope, our raison d'etre, our future.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos 

I want to be like you when I grow up

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Dear Friends,

Every Shabbat is special, and this week our Shabbat kiddush is even more special as we celebrate the 99th birthday of our beloved Ruth Anderson. Ruth is really a special person, one about whom many people say, “I want to be like you when I grow up” - and not just because she has spent 99 years on this earth - so far. What a wonderful person to emulate: she is always positive and happy, extremely thoughtful and caring.

I first met Ruth, 13 years ago when we just moved to Naples. We began a beautiful friendship and relationship. At a Shabbat dinner together I asked what's her secret of success and she said that every night before she goes to sleep she writes an e-mail to G-d saying how thankful she is for life and thanking him for all the blessings.

These are life's lessons that we like to share and invite everyone to come celebrate -- we look forward to celebrating many more simchas like this.

I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of our entire Chabad Naples Jewish Community, to wish Ruth a very happy birthday. May your birthday be filled with abundant blessing and cheer, and may you merit to celebrate many, many, many more birthdays – in good health and in good spirits – until 120 and beyond.

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos 

 

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