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Purim Theme, Recovery Retreat and more

Friday, 11 January, 2013 - 12:15 am

Purim is officially only six weeks out and preparations are in full swing at Chabad for all of the Purim 2013 celebrations. The committee met last week and determined that this year’s theme for the Grand Purim Feast is ……………… a Rockin’ Moroccan Purim. The menu, décor, entertainment and hopefully the costumes will be Moroccan themed. We are looking forward to a great Purim celebration.

After another successful Purim Shuttle last year, we are ready to roll out Purim Shuttle 2013. You should be receiving the first email next week and the mailing will follow. Purim Shuttle is a win, win, win. You win by fulfilling the mitzvah of sending a Purim gift to a friend. Your friend wins by receiving the lovely Purim gift. We all win by using the Purim Shuttle to support Chabad of Louisiana.

There are issues about which the Jewish community has taken a while to honestly explore – perhaps longer than the rest of society. One of those areas is addiction and recovery. Chabad nationally has been involved in assisting with addiction and recovery since the late 70s early 80s. In recent years the pace has picked up and last year an annual retreat Shabbaton was launched in South Florida for people and families in recovery. This year’s retreat will be held in Boca Raton from Feb 8-10. Featured speakers include Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski and Rabbi Yosef Y. Jacobson. For more information: www.jewishrecoverycenter.com/retreat. Please share this with anyone who may benefit from this vitally important event.

This week I met with a pair of local university students who are coordinating a special rally for Israel – called Declare Your Freedom. It is being held on January 28 @ 12 noon – at the UNO amphitheater. The rally will emphasize the importance of standing with Israel as Americans who have the same shared values. It will also highlight the growing trends in anti-Semitism around the world and calls on the community to get involved in combating this phenomenon. The keynote speaker is Daniel Pipes, of the Middle East Forum. More information will follow.

Our heartfelt condolences go to Evelyn Rodos, Devvie Harris and Marlene Trestman upon the passing of their mother, Mrs. Lillian Rodos. I have known Mrs. Rodos for many years. When Malkie and I moved to New Orleans in 1998, Lillian, an avid French Quarter enthusiast, gave us an original painting of a French Quarter Courtyard, which hangs in our kitchen to this day.

Mrs. Rodos had a great sense of humor, which provided an interesting twist to her love for Jewish tradition. Over the years we had many interesting interactions. Two anecdotes come to mind. Some ten years ago, Torah Academy held a fundraiser auction. Lillian donated another of her original paintings (a French Quarter courtyard no less) for the live auction. She was somewhat skeptical about how much it would bring in as she didn’t regard herself as a world class artist. Boy was she surprised when a bidding war broke out over her painting and it ended up being the biggest ticket item that evening.

After Katrina, Mrs. Rodos and her daughter Evelyn asked me to install some new Mezuzahs on her French Quarter home. After showing me around her house we got down to Mezuzah business and got all the doors covered. The one challenge was the front gate. It was designed in a way that neither nails or strong tape would be effective in keeping the Mezuzah up. It became a big issue until I went and got some liquid nails (a very powerful adhesive). Several times she called me to say that it had fallen down and I went back to get it back up. I think in the end the elements (human and weather) prevailed and the Mezuzah was yanked down by some drunk walking through the quarter.

May Hashem comfort her daughters among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

 

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