Rabbi Fishel's Blog

Pray for a brighter world for our children

Dear Friends,

The terrible tragedy right here in Florida this week has shaken us all. We were heartbroken to learn of so many young children and families affected by a violent act that took too many lives. We are all praying for the grieving families and for the broken community that will surely feel the aftermath of this tragedy for years to come. Losing a child to gun violence in a place that should be a safe haven - a school - is every parent's worst nightmare.  We continue to struggle to wrap our heads around yet another senseless act of violence resulting in the tragic death of 17 young people.

The Rebbe would often quote Maimonides who taught us to view the world at every moment as hanging in the balance, equally, between good evil; our task is to be a force for goodness to tilt the scale towards goodness.

Yes, Parkland is another reminder that there are forces of evil out there. Let's make sure we are a force for good! Rather than passive despair, such a tragedy should propel us to push back; to do more in the realm of MITZVAHS, goodness and kindness, so that each of us is an even greater force for good than we were until now.

We pray that Hashem give strength and comfort to the families of those directly affected. We continue to pray and send positive vibes to the Parkland community. Please see below for my initial thoughts I expressed on facebook:

 Today has been a tragic and devastating day as we grapple with the terrible news of 17 young, innocent lives taken, and so many more lives forever changed by terror and violence.

This state which I love so dearly, in which Ettie and I are raising our children, is hurting, and we are all in pain together.

The words of comfort and the hard work of rebuilding a broken community will be ahead of us in the days to come, but for now I can only share my thoughts with those so deeply affected by this tragedy. I am praying for those who have lost loved ones. I am praying for those children whose innocence has been stolen in what should have been a safe haven of education. And I will be praying for all of us that we may come together as a community and strengthen each other in this time of sadness.

As this tragic day winds down, hold on tightly to your loved ones and thank G-d for the precious gifts in your life. I cannot sign off without mentioning the heroes like Coach Aaron Feis and others who risked their lives to shield and protect others, they have shown me that the power of good will always prevail over evil. I pray for the day when the light will outshine the darkness entirely.

Please consider lighting Shabbat candles this week, adding more light to this seemingly dark world. Pray for a brighter world for our children. Gather around the Shabbat table over challah and wine and spend wonderful time with your precious family.

Candle lighting time is 6:03pm.  

And while you're at it . . . spread the word. Ask another friend to light. And let the ripple effect vanquish the darkness. 

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos 



A Very Special Torah Inauguration

 Me and Trish.jpg

Dear Friend, 

This past Sunday, over 200 Chabad Naples friends and community members joined our congregation in a powerful historic event to witness the birth a new Unity Torah scroll being written exclusively for our local Naples community. 

The inspirational celebration marked the writing of the very first letters the Torah, Judaism’s most scared and holy object. Every Sefer Torah (Torah scroll) has 304,805 letters, and it must be written on parchment with a quill and special ink by a pious scribe. It takes months to complete, since each letter must be written perfectly. What is so special about THIS Torah is that every individual letter, word, and chapter in the Torah is being uniquely sponsored by individuals and families in our community, as well as friends and supporters of Chabad Naples and Preschool of the Arts here in Naples and around the world. In this way, the specially commissioned scroll is intimately tied to our community and friends and supporters of Chabad Naples and Preschool of the Arts. This connection will hopefully draw down tremendous blessings for every person and our community as a whole. 

It is an honor to now invite you to also participate in this incredible endeavor, by buying your own letter, word, or section, and uniting with hundreds of others to complete this special Torah scroll. Our Sages teach us that owning a part of a Torah will bring blessings to the owner, his or her family, and to the entire community. Every individual commitment is a testament to the strength of our community and the goodness that results from us uniting together. 

This booklet provides details of what letters, words, phrases and sections of the Torah can be purchased, as well as specific meaningful passages you can sponsor that may resonate directly with you for the blessings that are associated with them. If you have any questions or would like some guidance or suggestion for a personalized sponsorship, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Rabbi Fishel for assistance. 

When the Torah scroll is completed, it will be welcomed into the Ark at our Chabad Naples center with great fanfare and celebration. We cannot wait to invite you to the grand “Hachanasat Sefer Torah” (Welcoming of the Torah) celebration that we anticipate will be scheduled for early 2019 to in our community!


Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

Click here to see the Unity Torah photo gallery 

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