Rabbi Fishel's Blog


Dear Friends,

Yesterday was Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. As meaningful as every Shabbat can be, perhaps this week can be a little more significant as we remember and pay tribute to the Six Million "kdoshim". We will read from the Holocaust Torah that was dedicated to Chabad of Naples in Jan 2012.

Who can forget when we dedicated the Chabad Center, with people of all ages, young and old, singing and rejoicing? And then, the highlight of the dedication, receiving the Holocaust Torah.

Mixed feelings? To say the least. Joy and sorrow -- joy for all that survived, and sorrow for our losses, and there were many. That this Torah survived and came into our hands, reborn through the generosity of Ellen A. Goldman and Sam Savage, and the Federman Family, is nothing short of a miracle.

We have become the stewards of a valuable piece of history, and with that we are responsible to the donors who entrusted it to us saying, "It is in good hands at Chabad of Naples."During this sacred time let us give homage to what we have lost and honor them by dwelling on a strong and blessed future.

We can take this time to discuss our history with our children in appropriate ways. Now is the time to teach them to respect the great sacrifices made by the lives and heroism of the 6 million Jewish people who were slaughtered in the Holocaust and to honor their memories.

During a discussion in our last Hebrew school class, the children realized their responsibility in carrying this legacy forward. It encouraged them to pray for these souls and resolve to make a Mitzvah and live as proud Jews, in honor of the memories of those who died.

Our youth today need to see the ‘Joy’s of Judaism not only the Oy’s of our faith’.

As we continued to reflect on frightening current warlike conditions throughout the world, our desire grew to increase our involvement and to ensure “Never Again” becomes a reality rather than just a slogan.

We pray for worldwide peace and understanding and that no one should ever face this horror again. I know the 6 million will be praying along with us from On High... I also know Hashem will answer our prayers.

May the memory of the six million be blessed.Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos 

A few days ago I was stopped by a gentleman in a parking lot

A few days ago I was stopped by a gentleman in a parking lot. He noticed my Kippah and asked if I could help him find a place where he could purchase items for Passover. But it turned out it wasn't just a random stranger, it was Cliff––a man I had met at an event 17 years ago. I told him to stop at Chabad and we would be happy to help him.



Cliff visited yesterday, and we spent some time with special prayers for Ukraine, for Israel, for New York, and for world peace. What made these moments even more meaningful, is that they occurred on the 120th birthday of my mentor, the Rebbe, of blessed memory.



The Rebbe saw the soul, the essential goodness and G-dliness, in everyone. He taught us to make the world brighter and kinder by helping others. That’s what drove Ettie and me also to establish this home, this center of living, loving kindness for the entire community. Yes, we love Naples and Marco and you are family. We are here for each other in good, and unfortunately unhappy situations. Today my children and I are out delivering matzah and connecting with our fellow community members; making sure to take the opportunity to brighten someone's day.



The Rebbe listened to every person without discriminating over age, size, color, race, or gender. He accepted and cherished all people as divine creations chosen by G-d. He cared for the Ukrainian refugee, the Prime Minister of Israel, the atheist in Alaska and the broken teenager from New York equally. To the Rebbe, each individual had infinite value and a unique light to share with the world.



He reminded us that we all share the same divine source and are therefore connected. G-d runs the world and there are no accidents. He ensured that when Cliff needed Passover supplies, there would be a familiar face to help him.



The Rebbe’s care and his love, the Rebbe's message, his example and teachings remain a living inspiration to us all. Regardless of where we may be in our individual journeys, today we take a moment to reflect on how we can better ourselves, and become closer to our real self––our divine soul that rests inside of us and makes the world a better place.



Yesterday marked 120 years since G-d gave us the precious gift of this special man.



Take a moment to choose one good deed you can do in the Rebbe’s honor. His memory should not only be a blessing, but a prime example of how we can live a meaningful life.



And if you need some matzah or tefillin––or anything else––just let us know. Be like Cliff and stop by Chabad Naples!






We are thinking of family and friends far and near

Dear Friends, 

As the holiday of Passover descends upon us, Ettie, Mendel, Yitzi, Chaya and Hinda join me in wishing you and yours a truly joyful Passover holiday.  

We are thinking of family and friends far and near and wishing you a very special holiday.

As the global order tremors watching the carnage in Ukraine, and a world looks heavenward for guidance, the Pesach season lifts us up to see the chains of “Egypt” falling apart and the gates of freedom opening before us.

Please G-d may the the next 8 days be for us a season of discovery, for each of us personally - highlighting our true inner Divine essence in its full glory.

As we commemorate our first journey home, from Egypt to the land of Israel, we pray for our Holy Land Eretz Yisrael and its people, Am Yisrael, that for once and for all - they, all those who dwell in her borders and her neighbors beyond, be freed from the tyranny of terrorism striking fear in the hearts of its innocent, and may the land secure in its physical borders and its people secure in their spiritual purpose, be a light unto the nations.

We pray for the people in Ukraine, we ask the Al-mighty; Protect those who only desire and deserve to live in security and safety. Comfort those who fear for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Be with those who are bereaved. Change the hearts of those set on violence and aggression.

We pray for the children of the world, the tragically suffering children of Ukraine, the hunger-stricken of Africa, the refugees in Europe and the US, and indeed all of G-d's children across the world, that they be endowed with a spirit of freedom from the oppression around them and be given the chance to live their lives in peace and dignity.

Let us use this opportunity to tap in to our inner Moses, hearing the word of Hashem, and take a step forward in our own lives, to live a more present, conscious, Jewish, G-dly life; enriching our family experience, uplifting our social value, and expanding our communal contribution to make the world, immediately around us, and beyond, a holier and happier place.

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos

Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.