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An Amazing Vigil

Friday, 25 May, 2012 - 11:01 am

Dear Friends,

This past Tuesday night a group of us sat with the Levy family at Ochsner Hospital as their son Ofir underwent a liver transplant. What could have been a lonely scary time was transformed into a supportive experience permeated with Ahavat Yisrael. Thank G-d the surgery was successful and Ofir is hopefully on the way to a complete recovery. I don’t cease to marvel at team of surgeons and the manner in which they interact with the families of the patient. I once again highlight Dr. Ari Cohen for the true sense of caring that he projected throughout the evening.

Throughout the vigil I thought about how wonderful it is to be part of this community. People have really come forward to extend friendship and assistance to the Levys. This has made a real difference for them in their difficult time here in New Orleans. One of the most beautiful things of it all is how invested people have become in the situation. When Moshika Balaas, the Israeli Shaliach who has helped coordinate the chesed efforts, emailed about Ofir going through transplant, there was an outpouring of genuine happiness from everyone involved.

That day was Rosh Chodesh Sivan, the day about which the Torah says that the Jewish people encamped at Sinai as “one man with one heart.” We re-experienced that feeling as we sat together in the hospital waiting room. A quote from the angels finally approving G-d’s gift of the Torah to the Jewish people would sum it up – “Mi K’Amcha Yisrael” – who is like Your nation, Israel?

We look forward to celebrating Shavuot this weekend. I encourage everyone to make their way to Shul to hear the reading of the Ten Commandments on Sunday morning. If you are still looking for a place to go – you are most welcome at Chabad Uptown or Chabad Metairie. There will be a wonderful dairy Kiddush and Ice Cream Party after services at both locations. I also encourage you to participate in the all night learning on Saturday night. For more info: or

Mazel Tov to Michele and Adam Stross upon the birth of their son, whose Bris will be this Shabbat.

Mazel Tov to Daniella and Brian Bain upon the birth of their son.   

Mazel Tov to Dina and David Voskovsky upon the Upshernish of their son Yosef Moshe.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and meaningful Shavuot. May we merit to receive the Torah with joy and true sincerity.

Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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