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First Coast

chabad March 2011 / Adar 5771



New Shluchim to Clay County: Rabbi Shmuly and Shaina Feldman


Photo gallery


Purim Events & Guide

recent events

Chanukah on the First Coast

Crowd viewing presentations at the Landing

Car lining up to join the parade.

More photos on Page 8

Rabbi Browd, Rabbi Kahanov, Dr. Lazar Finker, City Councilman Clay Yarborough,Rabbi Novack, Rabbi Kurinsky, Rabbi Vogel. Dr. Finker, President Chabad of Southside was honored with the kindling the Menorah

Part of the crowd that gathered for the public Chanukah Concert & Celebration, downtown St. Augustine.

Chabad @ the Beaches Menorah Lighting and Concert at Hampton Inn Jax Beach/Ponte Vedra

Chabad of Southside’s Menorah Lighting Ceremony at Florida Coastal School of Law

Rabbi’s Message

Cover Story

The Miracle of Life Did you know that the Megillah, which is read every year on the holiday of Purim, is the only book in the entire Written Torah in which G-d’s name does not appear even once? Wondering why? Reading through the story of Purim, we discover another most interesting fact. Throughout the entire story we find that very little of it was miraculous. In fact, most of it seems to be extremely coincidental. It seems like the work of a great novelist, with all loose ends eventually coming together-- beginning with the death of Queen Vashti, King Ahasuerus choosing Esther as his new wife, followed by Mordechai overhearing and foiling a plot to murder the king, and Haman’s rise to power, through Haman’s scheme to annihilate the Jews, and the king’s discovery that Esther was Jewish and that Haman’s plan would have included her.



First Coast Chabad Experiences Growth Spurt

All the events leading up to Purim seem to fit right into an almost natural course, and not once do we read about a great miracle, such as the sea splitting or manna falling from heaven. All we have is one coincidental occurrence after another.

While scholars find themselves preoccupied analyzing the tendencies of world Jewry and its future; as others obsess over Jewish demographics and trends, the Chabad movement is single-mindedly focused on building Jewish community and the enhancement of Jewish life. What better example is there of this, than recent events at Chabad on the First Coast?

True, the fact that Haman’s scheme backfired onto himself was very fortuitous, but there were no supernatural miracles. No oil lasted for eight days, nor were any firstborns smitten.

Within a span of several weeks, Chabad in the River City announced the launch of a brand new center in Clay County, as well as the appointment of Rabbi Eli and Esther Wilansky to Chabad at the Beaches and Rabbi Shaul Robson as administrator at Chabad Headquarters in Mandarin.

And that is precisely what makes the story of Purim so special. Take a look at the world around you. Everything seems so ‘normal’. The sun rises every morning in the east, and sets in the west at dusk. Trees and plants grow when they are properly tended to, and will wither and die when neglected. Fire rages and grows when in contact with anything flammable, but will be extinguished when in contact with water. All this, and much more, is what we’ve come to know as nature. And like everything else in the world, nature, too, was created by G-d. Nature is G-d’s most incredible miracle. We are living a constant miracle. By waking up every morning, we experience this most miraculous event – life. Even though we don’t feel the G-dliness or the miracle in it all; it is there. The very name of the Megillah, ‘Megillat Esther,’ makes this point. The name ‘Esther’ translates as ‘hidden’. The true miracle of Purim, as well as that of our daily lives, remains hidden. But we know that G-d, although His name is not mentioned in the Megillah, was in fact behind all that had transpired, just as He is behind all that happens in the world. And just as the Jews of that time believed and trusted in G-d that He will save them from Haman’s wicked decree, so must we, truly have faith in G-d that He is the one who ultimately controls our destiny. So this year, when you hear the Megillah being read on Saturday evening, March 19, and Sunday, March 20, take the time to think about the miracle of Purim, and how much it really relates to us. Rabbi Nochum Kurinsky Chabad @ the Beaches

The most recent announcement the establishment of the first Jewish institution of any sort in Clay County - comes in response to the burgeoning growth of the Clay County community in recent years. The center, to be lead by Rabbi Shmuly & Shaina Feldman, along with their two children, Mendel and Mushka, can only be described as part of a growth spurt within the Northeast Florida Chabad network. Clay County is nestled along the banks of the majestic St. Johns River in Northeast Florida and is located 15 miles southwest of Jacksonville. It is one of the nation’s fastest growing regions with a population of 150,000. The Feldman family – directors of the fifth Chabad Center to serve the growing Northeast FL region - have been recruited by Rabbi Yoseph Kahanov, Founder and Director of Chabad of Northeast, FL. For several years, rabbinical students have visited the area and had much success. “After developing and maintaining a connection with numerous Jews in the vicinity, we felt it was time for Clay County to have its own Center,” says Rabbi Kahanov.

“The area is “We felt it was extremely raw,” time for Clay Kahanov says, “There is not County to have a single Shul, its own Center” Synagogue, or Temple in the entire County. There exists no form of organized Jewish life.” Yet, having spent time exploring the area and visiting with local Jewish residents, during their visits to Jacksonville for Yomim Tovim (holidays) and Simchos, the Feldmans decided that they were ready to take on the challenge. Rabbi Shmuly and Shaina Feldman bring an abundance of talent to their new positions. They were both involved in Jewish outreach for several years and are eager to continue their work as a couple, here in Clay County. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Shmuly is a graduate of the United Lubavitch Yeshivos at Chabad World Headquarters in Brooklyn. He was ordained in 2003. While still a student, Shmuly was chosen by his Yeshiva to travel to Rostov, Russia where he, along with a small group of fellow students, spent a year diligently studying Torah and actively reaching out to Jews in the surrounding areas who were eager to discover their Jewish heritage. Rabbi Feldman also spent many summers as a Roving Rabbi visiting the out-backs of various Jewish communities around the world, including: Samara, Russia, Halifax, NS, Montana, Wyoming and Texas. March 2011/Adar 5771



Shaina, daughter of Rabbi and Mrs. Kahanov, is a native of Jacksonville. In 2004 she graduated from the Teacher’s Seminary in Brooklyn, NY with a passion for Jewish education. She has since been giving lessons in a wide variety of Judaic subjects to people of all ages. Over the years her women’s classes have gained considerable popularity here in Jacksonville. Mrs. Feldman’s teaching experience is, though, not limited to Jacksonville. She spent many summers as counselor and head-counselor in a variety of day camps across the country, including; Edgeware, UK, Victoria Island, BC, as well as, Bangkok, Thailand . More recently she has been teaching both 2nd and 3rd grade at Beth Rivkah – Chabad’s largest girl’s day school, in Brooklyn. “I think this couple is extraordinary,” said Charles Zitten of Fleming Island. “They are full of life and enthusiasm! The Rabbi has a practical, down to earth Jewish approach to today’s society.” The Feldman’s are emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Schneerson, the spiritual leader of the ChabadLubavitch movement, spearheaded a worldwide reconstruction of post-Holocaust Jewish religious life, and inspired a re-awakening of Jewish awareness and observance. Amongst it’s accomplishments, the movement established educational and outreach centers on five continents that provide religious, social, and humanitarian programing and activities to Jews, regardless of religious affiliation or background. Rabbis, along with their wives, are urged to establish Chabad centers to serve the spiritual and material needs of outlying communities. “People may see themselves as unaffiliated, Reform, Conservative or Orthodox. Chabad sees all Jews as being Jewish. No labels. No differences. Chabad is a home for every kind of

Jew. Clay County seems like the perfect place for a Chabad center,” Feldman said. “We’ll be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Everyone is welcome.” The Wilansky’s are equally as excited with their new posts. “We are ecstatic to be part of one of the most up and coming communities in Florida, Jax Beaches/Ponte Vedra,” says Eli Wilansky, a native of Montreal. Rabbi Eli has vast experience with Chabad outreach activities dating back to his early New Shluchim to Ponte Vedra, Rabbi Eli and Esther Wilansky childhood. He has a special gift for working with teenagers “In a time when, economically and religiously, and youth. Much of his experience comes from things seem to be on a decline, seeing Chabad’s his time spent at multiple Chabad Houses in exponential growth in Jacksonville, as well as Brooklyn, NY, Montreal, CA, Cincinnati, OH the world over - one would hardly believe it!”, and Manchester, UK. Most recently Rabbi Eli says Marty Schwartz, a member of Chabad in worked as program director here at Chabad @ Mandarin and Chief volunteer of Bikur Cholim the Beaches. Upon his Marriage to Esther, the for Chabad and Jewish Family Services. community enthusiastically invited him to stay on as assistant Rabbi and program director. Chabad’s global success has, in fact, been Mrs. Esther Wilansky, brings an abundance of experiences with her as well. She is an acclaimed preschool teacher. Esther spent a year working for Chabad in Mckinnon, Australia where she developed her interest in Chabad outreach and education. Most recently she served for three years as an educator in the Chabad preschool in Passaic New Jersey. Esther has joined the staff of the Ganeinu Preschool.

noted by analysts from across the Jewish spectrum, as being somewhat remarkable and even perplexing. While many pundits struggle to attribute the unusual occurrence to various methodical strategies and marketing phenomena, the Chabad Shluchim (emissaries) on the First Coast are unanimous in their view, that it is a direct result of the spiritual nature of Chabad’s message, which resonates with the core of the Jewish Neshama (soul).

The new administrator of the recently expanded Mandarin Chabad Center, is a native of Jacksonville. At age 17, Shaul Robson went off to study at the Yeshiva in New York and has recently graduated from the Rabbinical College of Morristown, NJ. Robson says, “It’s a great feeling to be back in Jacksonville; being able to give back to a community that has given me so much.”

When asked if Chabad has finally reached it’s capacity on the First Coast, Rabbi Kahanov responded with a twinkle in his eye, “There is still a long way to go and a lot more to come!” though he wouldn’t give any hints as to what more might be in store for Chabad on the First Coast.


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By Rabbi Yoseph Kahanov Gentle winds sweeping through weltering trees; rustlings of fallen leaves beneath rhythmic footsteps; chirping birds and scurrying squirrels, contribute to the calmness cast over a mind drowned in the fog of an ever so noisy and demanding world. The hypnotic atmosphere of a quiet afternoon stroll through any cemetery is easily turned into a transcendental experience. The calm soon gives way to wraith like reality. Each grave appears to take on its own character and identity – divulging secrets of a treasure sheltered within. Tales of success, power, wealth, love, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, contrasted by that of suffering, bitterness and failure, radiate from beneath the ground; finding expression within the receptive ear. For some, the proverbial “Dash” – spanning the date of birth and the date of death – bespeaks a lifetime of joy and accomplishment, for others it represents a journey of deep pain and disappointment. The attentive listener, who may turn-up at the site of a freshly dug grave in the Jewish section of Jacksonville’s Arlington Cemetery, will no doubt encounter a similar experience. But there’s something unique about the person for whom this plot has become an eternal resting place. The legacy that rises from the soft dirt of this newly interned resident is of a whole other sort. While the life of Shmuel Ben Avraham was riddled with adversity and failure – some might even say “ultimate failure” – as it ended in a state of destitution and complete estrangement from all biological family members, immediate and distant alike – his legacy is ironically one of virtue and inspiration. Shmulik, you see, was a Baal Teshuvah (penitent), in the truest sense of the word. My love for Shmulik was at first sight. By the time I returned home from an out of town trip a few days before Rosh Hashanah, his camper, which was home for him, had already been parked and hooked up at the back of the Chabad Center for several days. The hectic pre-holiday schedule did not afford us an opportunity to formally meet. All I knew about this man was what I picked up here and there from members of the Shul. Things like very sick… dying… alone… Then came the first Shabbos. In keeping with our tradition of encouraging all guests to share a blessing or a thought, it was soon Shmulik’s turn to offer some words. Shmulik, who as we’ve come to learn, was never at a loss for words, got up and spoke. He briefly described his situation: he was indeed an ill and dying man; a man who had lost everything in life, from his wealth, to his health,

Unknowingly, He Helped Build

A Village

to his family – left to face his deteriorating health and demise alone in the word. But he soon moved on to talk about the “Mission” upon which he had embarked: to travel and encourage Jews to become more Jewishly involved. He was particularly outspoken about the need for Jews to attend Synagogue services and the importance of the “Minyan”- a theme he repeated countless times in the ensuing months. He spoke passionately about the Synagogue being the lifeline of Judaism and the only hope for its future.

cause, each one playing his own little role. When the time suddenly came for a funeral to be arranged, the community valiantly pulled together to accomplish the task at hand. Chabad and Etz Chaim have joined forces like never before. Within 48 hours the necessary funds were raised and a funeral, befitting the most respectable of human beings, was underway. People from across the spectrum responded to the call. Over fifty people were in attendance at a funeral of a man they hardly even knew, despite the unseasonably cold weather. Yes, it took a village to accomplish this wonderful act of kindness and, thanks to Shmulik, we became that village. So, I thank you Shmulik for bringing out the best in us and for bringing us together in way

Even more impressive were his words of regret over having only established a true and loving relationship with G-d in his woeful state of deterioration and failure. There was no anger, no bitterness over his awful circumstances and fate, just a burning desire to do something for G-d and Jewish continuity. How unusual! How selfless! From experience I knew quite well that this was not the ordinary reaction to a life gone bad. Things usually worked the other way around. Most people take credit for life’s successes and blame G-d for life’s failures. This man saw things in whole different light. These sentiments were echoed during the many ensuing hours of conversation that I’ve had with him, at which time I’ve learned of the rich and colorful life he had led before losing it all. I found him to be a true inspiration and tried to spend as much time with him as possible. I encouraged him to record his story, so others could draw inspiration. Yet, for me the most significant part of his legacy is what he gave to our community. Shmulik had recognized the unique spirit and soul of the small Jewish community in Jacksonville. That, no doubt, is why he returned so quickly after having briefly left for another city. He chose to come back and live-out the remainder of his time and to die here, because he knew what we ourselves might not have known at the time, he recognized that this was a kind and giving community and that he was in caring and able hands. By doing so he gave us a chance to rise to the occasion and shine. And rise and shine we did. Despite the extraordinary needs of a not always most tactful person, the love and care poured in from all directions. Without realizing it, we were unwittingly involved in a truly benevolent

There was no anger, no bitterness over his awful circumstances and fate, just a burning desire to do something for G-d and Jewish continuity. that we haven’t been before. What a fitting legacy for a man whose only remaining hope in life was to do something on behalf of Judaism and Jewish continuity. You have succeeded beyond your wildest imagination. It is you that our sages had in mind when declaring: “Some acquire their [next] world in one moment.” And I thank you Jacksonville for being such a great community. Special thanks goes out to the Jacksonville Chevrah Kaddisha, Rabbi Yaakov Fisch, Jay Graff, Hardage Giddens, Jewish Family and Community Services, Mazal Synvani, Marty Schwartz, Shaul Robson and all those who gave so generously of their time, money, and effort in the performance of this great act of kindness. May G-d bless you among the rest of the members of this community and the nation of Israel.

March 2011/Adar 5771



Jewish Business Network:

Local Business Owners and Chabad Team Up To Stimulate the Economy. An exciting new initiative has been launched to help stimulate the economy on the First Coast. As the national unemployment rate looms at 9.8% and that of the Jacksonville metro area at 10.9%, a group of professionals and entrepreneurs have turned the recession into an opportunity for networking and community building. Despite being a new program, the Jewish Business Network or JBN as it is often referred to has already gained much popularity. Professionals from a broad spectrum of industries have taken to the JBN and organizers are, at times, struggling to keep up with the e-mails and phone calls coming in. The Jewish Business Network is a place where Jewish business people network and socialize and benefit from access to local and national business leaders to help grow and expand business. The JBN also provides opportunities for professionals and business leaders to develop critical business skills and to find solutions for market challenges. Meeting monthly at the University of Phoenix Northeast Florida Campus, the Jewish Business Network is the result of a partnership between the local Chabad branches and local business leaders. Dr. Mendel Galer is the Director of the Northeast Florida campus, and he and the University have been very gracious in providing use of their facility. Rabbi Nochum Kurinsky says that since arriving the Jacksonville Beaches area, he and the other Rabbis toyed with the idea of bringing professionals from across the community together. When local business people approached him with a similar idea just

over a year ago, the project became a reality. Kurinsky saw the affect of the recession on the community. Tapping into the broad knowledgebase synagogue attendees represented, it seemed only logical that Chabad would serve as the ideal base for the business community to come together. The problem? Many of the small business owners and entrepreneurs only attended synagogue services on Shabbat and Holidays, not an appropriate time for discussing business matters. “So many people only come for rites of passage, such as Bar Mitzvahs or the holidays,” Mr. Steve Hunt of Jaxx Signs, a regular attendee, explains. “And they never get a chance to share their knowledge with others, or network.” By creating an environment conducive to networking, Chabad on the First Coast and local business owners have succeeded in bringing people from across the community together. Though local demographics didn’t seem to support an event geared towards entrepreneurs and small business-owners, the monthly meet-ups attract upwards of 45 people. Each month attendees are treated to a guest lecturer on topics ranging from social media to brand building, followed by a deeper insight into the nature of business and life from one of the Rabbis. Participants also enjoy the opportunity to network and schmooze. Rabbi Shmuel Novack of Chabad Southside is delighted by the response. “People who were previously uncomfortable about attending Jewish events have come to participate,” he says. “Everyone sees the potential in sharing their common experience and learning something new.”

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Tuesday, April 12, 12 PM At the University of Phoenix 4500 Salisbury Road Jacksonville, FL, 32216 With special guests

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Mr. Steve Goranson (ActionCOACH, Business Coach) addresses the crowd at a recent JBN meeting.

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Meat Nights: March 1, 15, 29th, & April 12th

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Dariy Nights: March 8, 22, & April 5th



Share your talents and

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Dr. Michael Galer greets the audience.

Abe Saks, a coach on the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, was glued to his television screen. It was 1973 and running on television there was a series called “Religious America,” which focused on the spiritual lives of different Americans. That week the television displayed scenes of Lubavitch life in Crown Heights, Brooklyn: prayers with the Lubavitcher Rebbe… a Chassidic wedding… the circumcision of an eight-day-old boy. Abe was transfixed. Most of all he was captivated by the images of the Rebbe himself.

The Rebbe And The Coach

On an impulse, as soon as the show was over Abe caught a train and headed to the address he’d seen on the screen, “770 Eastern Parkway,” the central synagogue of Lubavitch.

He was immediately greeted by Chassidim on the street with the now-familiar question: “Would you like to don tefillin?” Already inspired, on a high, he agreed to don tefillin, something he had not done for over thirty years. In response to his question when and where he could meet the Rebbe face to face, he was told the date of the next farbrengen (public Chassidic gathering). From that day on, Abe made sure to put on tefillin daily. The day of the farbrengen arrived, and Abe made sure to arrive a few hours early to secure a good seat. He found the singing and clapping absorbing, but once again the most precious part of the experience was simply the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Rebbe’s face. The sight gave Abe an indescribable, jubilant feeling. Abe became a frequent visitor to the red brick building on Eastern Parkway. Whenever he felt down he would travel to 770. He didn’t mind the long trip; seeing that smile and those eyes made it all worth it. And of course, at every farbrengen with the Rebbe, Abe was there, clapping and singing along with the crowd. One day, the Rebbe informed his secretaries of his intention to conduct a sudden surprise farbrengen. Word spread quickly amongst the

Chassidim who quickly ran to 770.

Abe arrived at 770 the next morning, found out about the farbrengen the night beforehand, and was deeply disappointed to have missed it. He consoled himself with the thought that he would soon see the Rebbe as he entered the prayer hall for morning prayers. When the Rebbe entered the room, instead of heading directly to his place, he stopped and spoke to Abe, “I did not see you yesterday, where were you?” Abe replied that he had not been told about the surprise gathering.

Abe at a Chassidic gathering in the Lubavitch World Headquaters.

“Nobody informed you?!” the Rebbe asked.

understands all languages, English as well.”

From then on, somebody made sure to inform Abe every time a farbrengen was to take place.

Another time, unable to sleep, Abe arrived in 770 in the early hours of the morning. The Rebbe was then on his way out, heading home after many hours of receiving people in private audiences. Seeing Abe, the Rebbe told him, “A Jew has to sleep in order to have strength for the next day.”

Abe slowly learned and acquired knowledge about his Jewish heritage. Various individuals “coached” him, and he constantly received encouragement from the Rebbe. At first, Abe did not know how to read Hebrew. One night while reciting the Shema in English, he burst into tears, distraught. “Why can’t I read the Hebrew? Why am I not able to recite the Shema and the other prayers in the original Hebrew – the holy language?” he whispered in anguish.

Abe replied, “You also do not sleep much at night.”

The next day Abe traveled to 770 to cheer himself up. He stationed himself in the foyer at the entrance of 770, outside the room where the Rebbe was listening to the reading of the Torah. On his way back to his office the Rebbe met Abe. Before Abe had a chance to utter a word, the Rebbe said with a wide smile: “G‑d Almighty

When retelling the story years later, Abe said, “From then on I tried to sleep at night, so the Rebbe wouldn’t worry about me!”

Said the Rebbe, “I do not sleep because I am worried and preoccupied with the many requests I receive. However, why don’t you sleep?”

Over the years, Abe learned Hebrew and began attending classes at Hadar HaTorah, an academy for beginners in Jewish practice, located in Crown Heights. Abe particularly enjoyed a program known as “Encounter with Chabad,” wherein people from all walks of life would come to spend a weekend with the Crown Heights community and learn more about their heritage. He would participate in the entire program of speakers and lectures. Once, when a group of college students came to Crown Heights for an “Encounter” weekend, the Rebbe saw Abe with them and instructed him, “’Coach’ the students in Judaism.” Having been coached himself, he was now able to coach others. And a basketball coach also became a Judaism coach. Following Abe’s passing on Shabbat, November 3, 1985 (the 3rd day of Kislev, 5746), the Rebbe paid for the arrangement of his burial and the reciting of the mourners’ Kaddish. March 2011/Adar 5771



Chanukah on the First Coast Flaschen Family Lighting Menorah

Singer David Stein With Judy Nevel Geller

Students and Faculty participate

Chanukah Fair & Concert At the The Hampton Inn / Ponte Vedra

Menorah Lighting Ceremony at Florida Coastal School of Law

Enjoying hot dogs and latkes

Chanukah on Campus at UNF Students and Faculty participate Israeli performer, Yoel Sharabi, entertains the crowd .

Car Parade

Chanukah at the Landing

Public Menorah Lighting & Concert At the Plaza de la Constiucion

Mad Science table by the Landing

Participants light their candle from the “Torch of Freedom”, held by the mayor of St. Augustine, the Hon. Mr. Joseph Boles.

Mr. Danny Schechter is honored with kindling St. Augustine’s tallest menorah. City Councilman Clay Yarborough speaks.

Chanukah on Wheels

Children’s Chanukah Celebration at Chabad of Southside

Rabbis and Dignitaries dancing at the Landing

Winn Dixie Public Menorah

Save the Date! » 8


First Coast CHABAD

The first night of Pesach is

Contact your local Chabad House for

April 18 2011

a Seder near you!

Go ahead...

...give away all your worldly possessions to charity and live in a monastery in the Himalayas--maybe you’ll achieve higher consciousness and eternal bliss. But before you do that, consider the alternative: Keep your home, your marriage, your kids, your career--keep your life the way it is, but do it higher. That’s the idea behind what we call mitzvahs. A mitzvah is a connection between your world and a Higher Force. Through a mitzvah, you take some part of your mundane little world and make it higher. The goal? To get out of life everything that life was meant to give. And to make the world into everything the world was meant to be. Because life is meant to be beautiful and the world is meant to be divine. “Mitzvah” means “commandment.” A mitzvah is one of the 613 Divine instructions to the Jew contained in the Torah. The word also means “connection:” a deed that connects the human being who performs it with G-d, who commanded it. The Lubavitcher Rebbe launched a Ten-Point Campaign for Jewish Awareness and Observance

Before the Rebbe’s “mitzvah campaign,” the mitzvah was a private deed, performed by the “religious” Jew at home or in the synagogue. So it was only natural that the Rebbe’s mitzvah campaign, initiated in the late 60s and early 70s, raised many an eyebrow: “Tefillin on a hippie?” “What’s the point of doing one mitzvah on the way to lunch in a nonkosher restaurant?” Mitzvot were then seen as the details that made up a religious Jew’s lifestyle - pointless when not part of the whole package. The Rebbe saw things differently. As a connection between man and G-d, as a bridge between Creator and creation, a mitzvah is a deed of cosmic significance, a deed of infinite value unto itself. Citing Maimonides, the Rebbe repeated time and again: a single person performing a single mitzvah could be the deed that tips the scales and brings redemption to the entire world and all of creation. So the Rebbe issued a call to every Jew: Even if you are not fully committed to a Torah life, do something. Begin with a mitzvah -- any mitzvah; its value will not be diminished by the fact that there are others which you are not prepared to do. The Rebbe also suggested ten possible “beginner’s mitzvot” -- precepts which, because of their centrality to the Torah’s guide to life, are ideally suited for a first experience of the mitzvah connection.

Ten Absurdly Simple Ways to Live Higher 1. Light Shabbat Candles Women and girls (age 3 and up) are encouraged to light candles every Friday afternoon, 18 minutes before sunset, in honor of the Shabbat, and before Festivals.

2. Tefillin Men (age 13 and up) are encouraged to wear the Tefillin every morning excluding Shabbat and Festivals. Tefillin are black leather boxes containing small parchment scrolls of selected portions from the Torah, in which the fundamentals of the Jewish faith are inscribed.

3. Mezuzah Every Jewish home should have a mezuzah on its doorposts. The mezuzah contains the Shema and is a sign that the home is sanctified for G-d and enjoys His protection.

4. Torah Study a portion of Torah daily. Even a few lines contain the infinite wisdom and will of G-d.

5. Tzedakah

8. Love Your Fellow

Give charity daily. When you give to the needy, you are serving as G-d’s emissary to provide for His creatures. The home is a classroom, and keeping a”pushkah” (charity box) inyour home -- and contributing a coin to it every day -- will teach you and your children the noble value of regular giving.

“Love your fellow as yourself,” said the great Jewish sage Rabbi Akiva, is a most basic principle in the Torah. Reaching out to your fellow Jew with patience, love, concern and unity is among the greatest mitzvot a Jew can do.

6. A home filled with holy books

Every Jewish boy and girl should receive a Jewish education. Teach your children everything you know about your faith, and provide them with a quality Jewish education -- you will be ensuring Jewish integrity, Jewish identity and a Jewish future.

Furnish your home with as many holy books as possible. At the very least, get a hold of a Chumash (Bible), Psalms, and a Prayer Book.

7. Kashrut Eating is one of the basics of life. Shouldn’t it be done with intelligence? For a healthy and sound soul, eat only kosher foods, for when you eat differently, your Judaism is not just metaphysical, but part and parcel of your very being.

9. Education

10. Observe Family Purity Observance of the Jewish marital laws allows you to make the most of your marriage, bringing you and your spouse to new, undiscovered depths of intimacy and sacredness in your relationship.

Have extra stuff?

Call 904-262-6641 to donate your extra or unwanted furniture and appliances and we’ll pick them up! March 2011/Adar 5771



Celebrate Purim with the 4 Mitzvot 1

around the first coast

Listen Up!

2 Show Some Care

Head to your synagogue and get the whole Megillah. The Megillah, a.k.a. "The Book of Esther," is the scroll that tells the Purim story. Listen to the public reading twice: once Purim Night and again on Purim Day. This year, that's Saturday night, March 19, and Purim day, March 20, 2011. Pay attention—it is crucial to hear every word. When Haman's name is mentioned in the reading, children twirl graggers (noisemakers) and adults stamp their feet to eradicate his evil name. Tell your kids that Purim is the only time when it's a mitzvah to make noise!

One of Purim’s primary themes is Jewish unity. Haman tried to kill us all, we were all in danger together, so we celebrate together, too. Hence, on Purim day we place special emphasis on caring for the less fortunate. Give money or food, “matanot la’evyonim,” to at least two needy people during the daylight hours of Purim. In case you can’t find any needy people, your synagogue will likely be collecting money for this purpose. At least, place two coins in a charity box earmarked for the poor.

19th Annual Purim Celebration, Sunday March 20, 4:00 PM - See back cover for more information Purimania Motzei Shabbos, March 19, 8:45 PM Men women and children will gather together to listen to the Megillah and say Boo to Haman.

10129 Haley Rd. • Jacksonville, FL 32257 Phone. 904.262.6641 Fax. 904.880.0787

Everyone, young and old, are encouraged to come in Purim costumes. Special prizes for all children dressed up. Refreshments will be served.

Chabad of S. Augustine 604 S. Tree Garden Drive • St. Augustine, FL 32086 Phone. 904.521.8664

Chabad Southside 11271 Alumni Way Jacksonville, Fl 32246 Phone. 904.646.4434

Purim in “Africa” Saturday Night, March 19 Havdalla Service - 8:15 PM Megilla Reading - 8:30 PM Featuring:


First Coast CHABAD

In addition to the Megillah Reading during the Shacharit services which begins at 9:00 am, there will be 2 additional readings to accommodate the various schedules and needs of all members of the community, they will take place at 12:00 PM as well as 3:00 PM.

“Purim in the Palace” Saturday Night, March 19, 8:45 PM Hear ye, hear ye! You are cordially invited to a royal feast in the king’s palace!

Featuring: • Food “fit for a king” • Pose on King Achashveirosh’s throne • Royal musician • Purim costume beauty pageant • Multi-media megillah reading • Royal jester

Purim Bash! Saturday evening, March 19th Havdalla ceremony - 8:15 PM Megilla Reading - 8:30 PM

Chabad At the Beaches 521 A1A N • Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082

Phone. 904.543.9301

• Megillah Reading • Multi-Media Slide Show • African Drum Circle (led by Steve Alvarado) • African themed Holiday goodies and traditional Purim food Everyone is encouraged to dress in African Garb.


Family Megillah Readings Sunday, March 20

Mandarin / Headquarters

Family Megillah Reading Sunday, March 20 at 11:30 AM Hebrew school families feel free to come 15 minutes prior to normal pickup to join us.

G-d’s name is s not Esther- the whole out of the Queen Vashti didn’t - because she

Join us for the Purim Masquerade Party Megillah Reading and Delicious Refreshments Best Costume is a WINNER!!!!

After the mirac le Her son, Dariu of s II, gave money to the

World famous Reisman’s Hamantashen Available in four delicious flavors; Raspberry, Apricot, Poppy Seed and Prune. Only $5.25 a pound. Orders must be submitted before Monday March 7th. For more information, please call 543.9301, or e-mail us at

H a m a n ta s is a triangu h e n lar, filled pastry (r either Ha epresenting m hat). For c an’s ears or, his e cornered p nturies this little tria the “specia stry has served as l” food ass with the ociated P H a m a n t urim holiday. ashen, course, ca o n go into f shalach manos baskets.

Say It with Food

On Purim we emphasize the importance of friendship and community by sending gifts of food, mishloach manot, to friends. Send a package containing at least two different ready-to-eat food items and/or beverages (e.g., pastry, fruit, beverage), to at least one Jewish acquaintance during the daylight hours of Purim. Men send to men and women to women. It is preferable that the gifts are delivered via a third party. Children, in addition to sending their own gifts of food to their friends, make enthusiastic messengers.





Last but certainly not least, during the course of Purim day, gather your family, maybe invite a guest or two, and celebrate with a festive Purim meal. Traditionally, this meal begins before sundown and lasts well into the evening. The table should be festively bedecked with a nice tablecloth and candles. Wash for bread or challah, and enjoy a meal featuring meat, wine, and plenty of Jewish songs, words of Torah, and joyous Purim spirit. Sing, laugh, and have fun together.

more Purim Fun

tire book of mentioned in the en out anything th wi miracle happened ing. en pp ordinary actually ha

go out to Acash verosh had grown a ta il! made a of Haman was ee cr de d ke ic ing to begin. The w is war was go h e or ef b ar whole ye

Purim - Queen Esther had a so who later beca n. me king of Pers ia Jews to build th e Second Templ e.

end Start

Help bring the Gifts of Food to the house down the block. Be sure to avoid stepping on any of the stones.

March 2011/Adar 5771



Chabad Lubavitch 604 S. Tree Garden Drive St. Augustine, FL 32086

non profit org. u.s. postage


jacksonville, fl permit no. 2783

Admission: Adults $36 • Children and Students $18 For more information and to purchase tickets, contact your nearest Chabad Center Born to a musical family, Yehudah is the son of renowned flutist Avi Piamenta. Raised in Israel, he made his first stage appearance at the tender age of six and it was only a matter of time before Yehudah started acquiring a musical style of his own. Yehudah's dedication and passion for music has brought new life to the world of Jewish music. He has propelled traditional Jewish music into the 21st century and given it the exposure it deserves. Presented by Chabad of NE Florida: Mandarin/Headquarters 262.6641 • Chabad @ the Beaches 543.9301 Chabad of Southside 646.4434 • Chabad of S Augustine 521.8664

Purim Chabad Newsletter  
Purim Chabad Newsletter  

Chabad Newsletter, a joint publication of chabad of jacksonville, southside, the beaches, s augustine and clay county