Rabbi Fishel's Blog

Is Your Candle Lit?

Dear Friends,
We are looking forward to seeing you at our HUGE Community Chanukah celebration, Tuesday, December 4, 5:00 PM at Cambier Park.

The miracle of Chanukah is best celebrated when publicly shared by the Jewish community. Let's Celebrate our religious freedom today - together! This is a perfect opportunity to show your children a public Chanukah Menorah Lighting on the third night of Chanukah. This will be a truly great celebration for the entire community. Please join us and invite your friends and relatives. We have attached our flyer so that you may forward this email to your loved ones.

On Chanukah we light the menorah specifically after it is dark outside. The point is to bring light to the darkest places of our lives. Instead of ignoring them, denying them or running away from them, we are tasked with changing them. The easiest way to transform darkness is to add light. On Chanukah we are given an extra does of light from above to make miracles happen and we are given an extra dose of courage to venture into those places of paralyzing darkness and fear. Let's all take advantage of the moment. Make sure your candle is lit.

We want to personally wish each and every one of you a Chanukah and holiday season filled with friendship and traditions. May the warmth and glow of each candle make your heart and home happy and bright. We are so lucky to have you in our community!

Shabbat Shalom with Love & Light,

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

as long as you are going up

Dear Friends, 

In this week’s Torah portion we read the story of Jacob's dream and the famous ladder with its feet on the ground and head in the heavens. "And behold the angels of G-d were ascending and descending on it."

You might ask… do angels really need a ladder? We all know angels have “wings”, not feet. So why would they need a ladder?

There is a beautiful message here.

In climbing heavenward, one does not necessarily need wings, fancy leaps and bounds. There is a ladder, a spiritual route clearly mapped out for us to be traversed step-by-step, one rung at a time. The pathway to Heaven is gradual, methodical and eminently manageable.

Many people are discouraged from even beginning a spiritual journey because they think it needs that huge leap of faith. They cannot see themselves reaching a degree of spiritual commitment which to them seems otherworldly. And yet, with the gradual step-by-step approach, one finds that the journey can be embarked upon and that the destination aspired to is not in outer space.

A teacher once asked us the following question: "If two people are on a ladder, one at the top and one on the bottom, who is higher?" The class thought it was a pretty dumb question -- until our wise teacher explained that they were not really capable of judging who was higher or lower until they first ascertained in which direction each was headed.

If the fellow on top was going down and the fellow on the bottom was going up, then conceptually, the one on the bottom was actually higher.

And so, my friends, it doesn't really matter what your starting point is or where you are on the ladder of spiritual refinement and consciences. As long as you are moving in the right direction, as long as you are going up, you will, succeed in climbing the stairway to heaven. And from heavenly heights we see for sure that all that glitters is not gold.

Shabbat Shalom with Love & Light,

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos 

Eleven acts. Eleven flames of light. Eleven deeds.

Solidarity.jpg Solidarity 222.jpg 

From the desk of Rabbi Fishel 
What an evening!
Eleven acts. Eleven flames of light. Eleven deeds.


The overwhelming outpouring of love has been so touching and so meaningful.

The inspiration actually began early this week, with discovering beautiful flowers in the Chabad lobby, and the random people who kept coming through the doors just to give a hug. 
Thank you to all who joined us Tuesday night for our Evening of Memoriam and Unity. It was all of YOU who came, from many different backgrounds, and sat together in solidarity that truly made this evening the Unity experience that it was.
It was all of you, who committed to doing more goodness, to adding more light to our world to banish this darkness, that ensures that these victims will always be honored and in our hearts.

11 acts of kindness for the 11 victims lost- thank you all for making this powerful commitment, and to the many of you who e-mailed me personally the mitzvahs you are doing.  

In Psalm 133 it states, "How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."

It is my heartfelt hope that we sit all together as one big family once again, at Chabad of Naples, very soon but for only joyous occasions.
Peace and blessings,

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos
Arthur Seigel
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