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News Blog

The latest news at the Chabad Center of Sudbury

Quarantine, Moses & Shared Responsibility

Canva - Woman Holding Sign.jpgSo the new year of school began and thank G-d all of my children are doing okay in their respective classes and schools and getting used to the new rhythms of life. Zalman is enjoying online school with twenty students from places like Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, Canada and many States within America. Mendel is enjoying in person school in Brookline with social distancing protocol and likewise Chana & Levi are doing the same in their schools in New York.

However a few nights ago, one of my children who studies out of town was potentially exposed to someone with COVID like symptoms and at midnight on Sunday we were scrambling to figure out quarantine and how to make it manageable. Luckily after three days of quarantining… Read More »

IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY BAR MITZVAH TEACHER, REB HERSHKE RASKIN

9C471D0F-F500-4090-A115-BEAD6D837FDF.jpegYesterday Reb Yehoshua (Hershke) Raskin of London, England returned his soul to his creator at the age of 97 years old. His passing left me with many emotions and thoughts as a piece of my childhood moved on to heaven.
When I was turning 13 and terrified to have to publicly read my Haftorah in the large Chabad Synagogue in London, he lovingly coached me and taught me the meaning, the cantillation marks and how to read it properly.
As a young 12 year old boy, he seemed very old to me, although at the time he was just 68 years old. Each week I would come to his house and he would teach me how to read, why it is important, and inspire me with confidence to be able to do it.
To this day I can hear his voice ringing in my ears as he… Read More »

Three Moments that Touched Me

Untitled design (5).pngUsually when you say hello to someone and they respond, you don’t get all excited and emotional. Yet as El Al pilot Tal Becker who flew the first direct flight from Israel to the UAE described, that is exactly what happened when instead of being ignored, he was spoken back to by Saudi Air Traffic Controllers.

In his words “It was a very special moment for me. Usually I pass next to Saudi Arabian airspace and I talk to someone on air traffic control to alert them and there is no reply. Now for the first time they replied.” It was emotional as he realized the beauty of the moment as former enemies communicated on a very basic yet so vital manner and that enabled him to fly an El Al plane over Saudi skies.

Without getting… Read More »

The Gift of Free Choice

Untitled design (2).pngOne of the greatest gifts that we have been endowed with as human beings is "Free Choice". Free choice means that each and every action that we choose to do is fully guided by our choice alone and not simply part of our destiny or the way we were made. Free choice means that when we choose to do good, it has a special unique value to it, as we could have easily have chosen to do the opposite, yet instead we chose the better option.

Certainly free choice also brings with it the potential to make bad mistakes and immoral choices. Yet the good wouldn't be special or meaningful, if there wasn't another way to choose from besides good. So ultimately the ability to choose also means the ability to bring positive change to the… Read More »

Why do we Eat?

Untitled design (3).pngDid you know that in a study done in the US it was found that an average American spends 67 minutes per day eating and drinking beverages as part of their daily meals. When you include snacking time and drinking time while doing other activities that number is almost doubled. This does not include time spent on buying food, planning what to make and preparing food, taking selfies and more which could easily add another hour or two to the amount of hours spent on food consumption.

Either way it is fair to say that as human beings a big chunk of our day is spent nurturing ourselves and making sure we have the right food and nutrition to have energy and be healthy. Obviously as human beings we need to eat and do it right so that we are… Read More »

The Happiest Day on the Jewish Calendar

Canva - Happy Young Woman on Spring Field.jpgDid you know that the saddest day and happiest day on the Jewish Calendar are within days of each other? And no it is not Purim or Chanukah….

Yesterday Jewish communities around the world observed the day of Tisha (9th of Av) B’Av, the day when both holy temples were destroyed in Jerusalem thousands of years ago and a day when many other terrible tragedies happened in the Jewish calendar. This day is considered the saddest day on the Jewish calendar since so many huge tragedies happened on this day which altered the course of history for the Jewish people and radically changed the way people connected with G-d and for that matter with each other.

On this day, besides the Temples being destroyed and many people being killed… Read More »

Lost or Gained in Translation

Canva - Biblical Hebrew.jpgSir Issac Newton is known for many things including his research in calculus and in the field of universal gravity. Yet a lesser known side of Newton is that he intensely studied the Hebrew language so that he could study the Torah in its original form and understand it properly without relying on translations that he felt were at times questionable and not so accurate.

Alongside that, Newton had a deep interest in the concept of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and what that meant on many levels. Newton left many manuscripts that dealt with these ideas and many of those are now in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Newton's search for a true and accurate translation was certainly not the first by an outside scholar. The Talmud tells us of a… Read More »

Are we making progress?

Highways.jpgSometimes it might seem that as a society we might be slipping backwards and losing parts of our values and accomplishments that have taken so long to achieve. Sometimes it may appear that we are simply treading water and going around in circles and then there are the moments when we feel like we are actually making progress and advancing towards growth and positive change in society.

What is true in the macro dimension is true in the micro aspects too. Sometimes we might feel that personally we are slipping backwards from who we ought to be, sometimes we are simply stagnating and not making any positive changes in who we need to be and sometimes we feel a surge of joy as we make progress and move forward in doing good and achieving what… Read More »

Did I miss my trip to Israel?

20170720_144936.jpgMany people are dealing with vacations and travel plans that were canceled or rescheduled. There are people that I know who had trips to Israel, Europe, Australia and cruises and more that were planned and have since canceled.

Imagine if I were to tell people, just envision in your mind that you are in your vacation spot and enjoy the experience. I am sure for most people it wouldn't quite work, as the experience of a vacation is to actually be in a different place and enjoy the visuals, the relaxation, the new state of mind and the benefits of what the place has to offer.

Personally I had high hopes of visiting the UK this summer and seeing my parents and maybe being able to do a quick check in and visit Israel, but oh well, I will just… Read More »

A Covid Era Bar Mitzvah Wish

Canva - Jewish dawn prayer.jpgThis week the parents of one of my Bar Mitzvah students who have had to revise and reschedule long planned Bar Mitzvahs, asked their son what he would like to do on his upcoming 13th birthday to make the day itself special. They told me that offered him various fun activities and options, but instead he responded that what he wants to do on that day, is to go to Chabad and wrap Tefillin for the first time in his life.

When I heard that, I was overjoyed and very touched on many levels and I will explain why.

I know it has been challenging for the record amount of Bar & Bat Mitzvah students that we have during 2020 as their Bar & Bat Mitzvahs that they had planned for so long, have to be rescheduled, altered and re-planned. Big… Read More »

The Challenges of Travel

Driving.jpgAs I drove along the highway on Wednesday as I headed down to New York, I suddenly noticed a big wheelbarrow in the inside lane. I quickly moved over to avoid it and called 911 to report it so that the police could safely stop the traffic and remove the danger. When I called they told me that they are already on to it and will be there any minute to take care of it. We continued driving down the Interstate 84 and I chatted and learned a little with my son as we enjoyed some quiet one on one time.

Suddenly about 60+ miles from Sudbury, the highway in front of me filled with smoke and all the brake lights on the cars in front of me went on as the cars slowed down. I presumed that a car or truck was on fire but then the smoke started to… Read More »

The 26 Year Old Ride

Rebbe & Yisroel.pngLast night a young man approached me as I left the resting place of the Lubavitcher Rebbe in Queens, NY and asked me for a ride to Brooklyn where I was headed. After I ensured that he had a mask (and he had long since recovered from COVID), I said that he could come in my car and we began to drive.

As we drove down the Belt Parkway, I was still contemplating my own journey to this very same spot exactly 26 years earlier when I walked through the cemetery just after the interment. I remembered the packed flight from London, the heat and humidity of New York, and the grief and sadness that hit me as I approached the cemetery that very first time.
As these thoughts passed through my mind, I turned to my passenger and asked him his name, and… Read More »

It's all about the Challah

20200304_180125.jpgIn the months since Passover, we have managed to personally deliver hundreds of pre-Shabbat Packages filled with Challah, sometimes Chicken Soup and Desserts and packed with a dose of love, to families, friends, neighbors and others living in Sudbury and the surrounding area. By far the best feedback we get is for the Challah itself and everyone wants to know Shayna's recipe for this amazing Challah (which is available on request).

Yet besides the comments regarding the amazing taste of the Challah, we also get so many comments, like "it reminded me of my mother", "it took me back to my childhood", or people sending us heartfelt and often emotional beautiful letters and feedback. Obviously it is not simply the Challah… Read More »

Light it Up

Canva - Child boy and mother playing..jpgImagine a small gold cup full to the brim with pure olive oil with a wick leaning on its side waiting its turn to share its light. Suddenly a lamplighter approaches and momentarily stalls next to the wick and behold there is a spark and a hiss and then the wick lights up. The lamplighter pauses momentarily to make sure that the wick is burning independently and now beginning to give its own beautiful light and glow, and only then does it move on to the next cup of oil waiting to be lit.

Imagine a person overflowing with G-d given potential and with talent and capabilities ready to be fired up, sometimes though just waiting for the spark that is going to ignite the flame and cause this person to begin to shine. Along comes a lamplighter, a… Read More »

Let's Recognize the Spark of Humanity

Canva - Racial Ethnic Social Issue.jpgIn 1991 a young six-year-old child by the name of Gavin Cato was killed in a terrible and tragic car accident in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and the resulting tension after his death, led to three days of race riots.

When things finally calmed down and the community began to heal, David Dinkins the then mayor of New York, came to visit my late mentor the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Schnersohn to discuss the situation and ask for a blessing. In the conversation as they spoke about the two sides uniting and coming together, the Rebbe pointed out that in truth it is not really two sides, rather in the Rebbe’s words “everyone is on one side and part of one community coming together under the leadership of the city”.

The… Read More »

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