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Reflections on the Oil Spill

Friday, 30 April, 2010 - 1:44 pm

Our region is just beginning to digest the magnitude of the negative impact that the oil rig explosion will have on so many facets of life - environment, economy, health, food, recreation and much more. The Baal Shemtov (whose 250 Yahrtzeit is on the upcoming Shavuot festival - more on that later) taught us that we need to derive a lesson in our service of the Almighty from everything that we encounter in life.

Kabbala teaches that single acts of goodness and holiness can have positive cosmic reprocussions. If this is true with regard to single negative incidents (e.g. the oil spill) how much more so with regard to the positive. This is a very empowering notion. That each one of us, a relatively insignificant individual, can have an impact of historical proportions on the future of the universe in making it a G-dly place. Let us sieze the moment and the lesson and do our part to transform the world into a welcoming dwelling for Hashem.

Speaking of Kabbala, this coming Sunday is Lag B'omer, the day that we celebrate the life of the Father of Kabbala, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Join Chabad of Metairie at the annual Lag B'omer Fest, being held at the Goldring-Woldenberg Community Campus in Metairie from 12:30-3:00 PM for food, fun and music.

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of visiting the Gates of Prayer Religious School to present the Torah Factory. We had a very engaging session culminating in the children using a quill and ink to write their Hbrew names on parchment. Photos, courtesy of Michelle Bassham, can be viewed here. To have the Torah Factory visit your school or group please contact me - mendel@chabadneworleans.com.

On Monday night we enjoyed the Kabbala Seminar presented by Laibl Wolf at the Chabad Student Center. The audience received the presentation with enthusiasm. One of the participants phrased it so " I just wanted to thank you for bringing Rabbi Wolf to New Orleans.  I found his talk very inspirational and I have in fact already utilized something he spoke about. " Photos can be viewed here.

Since this Shavuot marks 250 years from the passing of the Baal Shemtov, both CHabad Uptown and Chabad Metairie will be dedicating the Shavuot night learning to the teachings of the Baal Shemtov. If you'd like to be a part of it as a teacher and/or a student please let us know.

We wish a hearty Mazel Tov to Uzzi and Rivkah Kehaty upon the birth of their new grandson. And a hearty Mazel Tov to George and Elaine Haas upon the birth of their new grandson. May they all have much joy and Nachas from their families.  

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