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Rabbi Fishel's Blog

The gift of Shabbat

Thank you!  

We must begin with a prayer to G-d that all the ill be healed, all the grieved be comforted, that all the medical heroes find strength (!), that all the researchers find the vaccine, and that all governments govern with mercy and with wisdom!  

This is an unprecedented time in the history of mankind. Never before has Planet Earth witnessed such a mass effort of every human being wherever they may be concentrating their focus in one direction: fighting an illness! 

It's unfortunate that it's taken this terrible virus to bring us all together, but now that we're here we need to learn and grow from this experience. The world must become a better place when this thing is over - better than it was before COVID-19 attacked.  

That's exactly what Shabbat is about. The gift of Shabbat is the gift of a mandated pause in time, forcing us to reflect on the week that has passed so that we can improve in the week ahead. 

We have closed so many doors these last few days, no one has been entering our homes...

But tonight we have an opportunity to host a guest who seeks our company, as we seek her peace and camaraderie.

Her name is Shabbos... Close your connection to the outside world and allow your inner world to blossom and to thrive.
 

Welcome her light into your home, as the sun begins to set on Friday (at 7:21pm in Naples), enjoy her company until Saturday after nightfall (8:13pm) and from there the light will go viral to your friends, neighbors and family.
 

Let's make this world shine forever!

To our dear community

And you shall guard your lives very well 

Deuteronomy 4:15

To our dear community,

I hope and pray you and your loved ones are ok.
 
As the spread of COVID-19 continues, Chabad of Naples is focusing on health and safety, especially to protect vulnerable people in our community.

With heavy hearts, we regret to inform you that Chabad of Naples has suspended all programming and upcoming events, including synagogue services, until further notice. We do so with an eye to Judaism’s foundational teachings about the preservation of life.

It is at unpredictable times like this that we must turn to each other with support and look for ways to be of service. Please let us know if there is any way we can assist you.
 
In addition, if anyone who would like to volunteer to help our community - by helping purchase groceries for the elderly and those at higher risk or in other community-minded ways - please reach out. We are stronger together and we will get through this as a community. 

Our team is working to set up a proactive Chessed committee charged with the task of reaching out to those who are most vulnerable in our community.

Members are ready-to-go and will call you, shop for you, deliver to you, speak with you and help you through this. If this applies to you or someone in your world, please call us if you need assistance.

We must also never lose sight of the importance and power of prayer. It is vital that we continue to focus our hearts and minds in prayer to Almighty G-d, who provides the ultimate means of protection and healing for the entire world.

We assembled select prayers as well as other resources, including a free quarantine Kaddish service, for those that cannot make it to synagogue.

Please visit our ever-expanding section on our website at Www.chabadnaples.com/coronavirus.

Please know that we will communicate with you and share all information as we receive it. We are, first and foremost, mishpochah, our communication is two-way. Reach out, contact us if you need - we are here, day and night. 

Connection to our community is what we are all about. So much of our world revolves around our close connection with each other. We love and cherish that.

We are going through trying times. Let’s be there for each other. Every challenge is an opportunity. Let’s make the best of the situation we are all in. If you know of someone that can use a helping hand or if you are available to give a helping hand to someone in need, please contact us. As always, if there is anything we can do to help you, a loved one or anyone else, please reach out to us.

We will be continually monitoring the latest advisories and relevant information regarding COVID-19 from the CDC website, while also consulting with other organizational leaders on how to take the most proactive approach to prevent the spread of the virus.

May G-d bless and protect you and your families and keep you safe.

We can’t wait to daven and dance with you once again. As your rabbi, and as your friends, we are here.

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos
Arthur Seigel M. D.

 

 

 

Friends in High Places

Friends in High Places

These are trying times for all of us, to say the least, and I just want to share a few thoughts with you before, G-d willing, we put out a more formal statement tomorrow.

We are surrounded on all sides by the Corona Virus. Everyone and everything is being consumed and overwhelmed: countries are shutting their entries and borders, sports are suspended, much recreational travel has been halted. Many shelves are empty in our local supermarkets as people rush to stock their pantries. The fear is real as we pray for medical science to find a cure quickly.  

 

How can we help? We cannot allow ourselves to succumb to fear and panic, allowing negative perceptions and predictions to cripple us completely. Life must go on, and part of guarding our physical health, involves maintaining our mental and emotional health. We know the value of ‘talk therapy’, and how just being able to speak with a friend often makes us feel so much better. And where could we find a better friend?

Perhaps we can talk with G-d, and spend some time with Him in prayer. We should not disregard or fail to appreciate the power of prayer at this time. We should also talk with our friends, keeping elderly, homebound, and solitary people in mind and reach out with a phone call to chat and show we are thinking of them.

After touching base with a few people earlier today, I could see how uplifting it was for them to have the contact with another person. Showing that we care is a simple thing that has a huge impact and takes so little of our time.

Coming together this morning for prayer was a comforting and healing process for us. Although a smaller number attended, we were humbled and reminded of our fragility and vulnerability. When we recited the famous Shma Koileinu prayer, we knew G-d heard our voices.

As we double down on our healthy practices such as hand washing thoroughly, avoiding large crowds, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching the face and other people, let us not ignore our simple but very important spiritual needs.

May Hashem bless humanity with the insight and the capability to cure this virus and end its path of disease, thereby bringing health, prosperity and goodness to the world.

 

save one life is to save the world

As we count down this weekend to Purim, let us hope and pray that the only thing going viral is a spirit of cooperation, unity, and love.

Dear Friends,

We are all concerned about the spread of the Coronavirus. We need to intensify prayers for healing for all those infected, and for this fear to pass quickly. Join us this Shabbat Morning for special prayers to heal and arrest the Coronavirus. The Special prayers will be said at 11:15 AM when the Ark is opened. Join us as for long as you wish.

As the coronavirus spreads across the world, it reminds us, in the most powerful way, of our common humanity. The virus does not recognize race, religion or nationality. We are all equal – all human beings as brothers and sisters together facing a shared crisis.

Our sages teach us that to “save one life is to save the world”. We need to take every precaution to protect and defend human life, especially those who are most vulnerable to this virus.

1. Wash your hands thoroughly before entering shul, with an alcohol based hand wash. Hand hygiene and regular washing of hands is the most important precautionary measure. Wash the front and back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails for 20 seconds (or enough time to sing “Happy Birthday” twice).

2. No handshaking.

3. No hugging and kissing.

4. Anyone who is ill with respiratory symptoms such as a fever, sore throat, coughing and sneezing should avoid coming to shul and infecting others.

5. Anyone with a travel history in the past 21 days to any area that has had an outbreak of COVID-19 should also not come to shul for least 14 days, as they may be asymptomatic carriers.

Chabad Jewish Center remains open as usual, and we encourage you to participate in upcoming Shabbat, and especially the PURIM festivities.

At a time like this, when tension and stress may be elevated, the fabric of community keeps us strong. Please see how you can increase in acts of compassion and support for people in the community, who may need them more now than ever.

Uplifting messages:

May Hashem bless humanity with the insight and the capability to cure this virus and end its path of disease, thereby bringing health, prosperity and goodness to the world.

With blessings

Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos and Happy Purim

 Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

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