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Rabbi Fishel's Blog

Make sure your candle is lit.

Are you ready for Chanukah?

Chanukah seems simple enough: We light the Menorah, eat some latkes and play some Dreidel; then add gifts and a family get-together to round off your Holiday.

Actually, it’s much richer, and more complex, than that simple equation.

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

 

 

Thank you for being a part of our family

Thank you for being a part of our family. 

Dear Friends, Family, and extended Naples Chabad Family:

You all know the expression, that one can choose his friends but not his family? Well, after a weekend like the one that just passed, we feel as if we chose both, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! In our case, the friends who chose us have become part of our treasured family. We are so blessed to have been surrounded by such an outpouring of love and good wishes on behalf of our dear daughter Chaya’s simchah. 
 
Ettie and I share such a sense of heartfelt gratitude for all who attended and rejoiced at Shabbat services with us, showering us with their good wishes and honoring Chaya.   

Again, on Sunday, the community came together to join in our simchah as a family.  As parents, we shared an overwhelming experience, watching our daughter blossom into the beginnings of womanhood with such confidence, grace and poise, while cognizant of a sense of duty and responsibility to the community at large.  Chaya has demonstrated an unusually sensitive response to the plight of others while exhibiting healthy common sense and retaining her warm sense of humor. She truly lived up to her new identity as a daughter of the mitzvot, spreading light and kindness throughout this whole weekend.

Celebrating with all of you this past weekend, it was clear that our nachas was your nachas, and our joy was your joy.

What greater gift of connection could Ettie and I hope for?

We only pray that we can reciprocate and share in your joyous moments together with you.

Thank you for being a part of our family. 

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos 

 

 

 

With prayers for peace and security

As we celebrate Shabbat tonight, let us not forget about our brothers and sisters in New Jersey, reeling from the heart-wrenching shooting in Jersey City.

Our aching hearts are with the families of all the victims, especially the young orphans. We pray for the complete and quick recovery of those wounded.

Following an investigation, police believe the Jewish market, was the target. Anti-Semitism rises - there may be a lull, but it is inevitably re-launched again and again and again. This time at a Kosher supermarket in Jersey City.

The hearts of every single member of our Chabad Naples Family are united with the loved ones of the generous, gentle and precious souls who have tragically passed.

Let's be sure to honor their precious souls and connect with our community and family; hug them, spend some more time with them, and affirm to the world and affirm to ourselves that we are stronger and more united than ever. This Shabbat do something you may have not ordinarily done, to demonstrate your Jewish pride.

We take so much for granted, depending on our brave law enforcement men and women everywhere, who leave their homes and families to "do a job" each day, never knowing which pillow their heads will touch that night. We pray for their safety.

May we, and our elected officials be inspired by the Almighty with the wisdom, strength and humility to take all steps possible to never have to experience such a tragedy again.

With prayers for peace and security.

Shabbat Shalom with Love & Light,

 

We must remember to give our gratitude an address

Dear Friends,

You know that experience of feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessings that surround you? We hope and pray that all of us have that experience often- and ideally, actively create that experience by savoring our blessings every day.

But there are some moments in time that stick out; that dazzle us with their beauty and their richness.

This weekend is turning into one of those moments as Ettie and I feel full of gratitude to be celebrating our dear daughter Chaya's bat mitzvah this Sunday.

We are taught that each Torah portion holds a spiritual lesson that is relevant for all times, and this week is certainly no exception!

In this upcoming Torah portion of Vayishlach, Jacob, who is overwhelmed by G-d's loving protection to him in a time of distress, and the blessings of a loving family, tells G-d, "Katonti, I have become (humbled) small from all the kindnesses!"

Indeed we are humbly grateful to be at this beautiful milestone, celebrating our dear Chaya's transformation into a young Jewish woman.

It humbles me to see this extraordinary girl, born and bred here in Naples, carry herself with such dignity and grace and pride.

And feeling so grateful to our beautiful community who has watched her grow alongside us- it does take a village.

So indeed, we, too, are small before G-d, and we thank Him for the blessings of family, and our dear friends who have become our family.

Like Jacob, we must remember to give our gratitude an address- to the Giver of all that is good.

What truly makes a simcha complete, is the ability to share it with family and friends. This is a precious gift that cannot be overestimated.  It takes the joy and the nachas to an altogether higher level.

We cannot wait to celebrate with our dear family and Naples Mishpacha this weekend in shul, with our traditional kiddush  following services on Shabbat, in honor of  Chaya’s Bat Mitzvah. The main event will be on Sunday at the  Bat Mitzvah reception. We look forward to greeting you personally.

May we, as a family, always share these wonderful simchas with each other.

Warmly, 

 

Rabbi Fishel and Ettie 

 

There is a reason for everything

Here at Chabad of Naples, the weeks are like snowflakes: no two weeks are ever alike!

Out of the blue today, I received a call from a visitor from California.

As he was here for just a short time, he Googled Chabad because he wanted to put on tefillin.  Now that’s not a call I get as often as I would like! But always enthusiastic, with an open door to accomplish this or any other mitzvah, I dropped everything and welcomed Eric to put on tefillin.

In the course of conversation, he asked my name and when I said “Zaklos”, he asked if by any chance I was related to a Zaklos in Vacaville. When I said he is my brother, Eric went on to say how inspired he is by Rabbi Chaim Zaklos who has built a magnificent center in Vacaville and what he is doing is remarkable. Of course, I agreed!

We prayed and he went on his way.

I am more inspired by my younger brother every day.

There is a reason for everything.  We are all connected and mitzvot beget more mitzvot as they bring us together.

Talking about prayer. Our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, each instituted one of the three daily prayers, and, tradition teaches, when Jacob arrived at the mountain, G-d caused the sun to set early so that he would pray the evening service—his unique prayer—there.

Today, prayer is assumed to take place only in the synagogue, but we can and should pray anywhere. You can still pray alone, whether at home, at work, or on the road.

Our ancestors taught us to find time in our busy days for G-d. No matter how much we have going on in our lives, take a few minutes three times a day to connect with the Creator. It will make the rest of your day so much brighter!

Let's all make our corner of the earth, the best possible to bring and disperse light!

Shabbat Shalom

 

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