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Kudos to the Chevra Kadisha

Friday, 18 May, 2012 - 11:20 am

I would like to give a hearty Yasher Koach to the Chevra Kadisha and Sandy Lassen for a great event this past Wedensday. The thought provoking lecture by Rabbi Elchonon Zohn of the National Association of Chevra Kadisha was very well attended by a nice cross section of the New Orleans Jewish community. The training session that followed for those active or actively interested in the Chevra Kadisha, drew dozens of people, who remained for hours.

In addition to the general raising of awareness for what the Chevra Kadisha (Jewish Burial Society) does, I believe this event will significantly increase the ranks of those active in the Chevra Kadisha. Traditionally the Chevra Kadisha was one the most sought after societies. Jewish historical records indicate that the greatest leaders were active members of a Chevra Kadisha in their towns. At the age of 12, Rabbi Schenur Zalman, the founder of Chabad, lobbied to be accepted as a member of the CK in Liozna (his hometown). A debate ensued about whether it was permitted to accept a boy under Bar Mitzvah into the CK. In the end he prevailed and was noted a member.

Why is it so important? Aside from the centrality of Kavod Hames (respect for the dignity of the deceased) in Judaism, there is also the notion of Chessed Shel Emes – true kindness that cannot be repaid. This altruistic expression of Chessed is highly valued in Jewish life. I encourage anyone who is considering joining and becoming active to take the plunge and get involved. Call Sandy at 504-889-1144.

Shavuot is just over a week away. For all of your Shavuot online needs and interests go to www.chabadneworleans.com/shavuot. Chabad (both locations) will be offering late night learning as well as a full schedule of services and activities for the holiday. Most notably the reading of the Ten Commandments and dairy Kiddush that follows on Sunday, May 27.

Mazel Tov to David Shurati and Carmit Suissa upon their upcoming marriage in Israel.

Mazel Tov to Rebecca Begtrup and David Broniatowski upon their recent engagement.

Mazel Tov to Mark Fertel and family upon his Bar Mitzvah this week.

The question of the week is “What special element of unity does the Jewish world experience this Shabbat?”

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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