The Rabbi’s Letter – High Holidays 2017

September ‘17                                                                                                     Elul 5777

Dear Congregants and Friends

My emotions have been changing like the weather. You see, my son Mordechai Meir remained in Miami Beach with the Rabbis and students of his yeshiva. The 7-story yeshiva building 4000 Alton Rd.  (formerly a Howard Johnsons) was certified Hurricane safe after various upgrades. In addition to numerous anticipations and preparations, the yeshiva stocked up with food, had its own generator, and filled the bathtubs with water just in case. The hurricane headlines on Friday “BULLS EYE MIAMI BEACH” left me worrying what would everyone be facing during and after! ,,,,,,,, I mentioned to Mordechai Meir that the Tzaddik, the Chofetz Chaim, writes that the breath (the wind) exhaled speaking loshon hara (derogatory gossip) causes the damaging winds of a hurricane. The inverse is true of loshon tov, speaking (winds) words of gratitude and encouragement. They are The Winds of War. This teaching of the Chofetz Chaim, connecting our speech and nature is so deep, so powerful. On Rosh Hashana, we reaffirm this connection… Our feet are firmly planted on the ground and our head (our intentions) reaches to the Heavens…. At Shabbos lunch, a visitor who had his bar mitzvah at the Minsk 40 years ago said Hurricane Irma’s bull’s eye shifted to the west side of Florida. I guess someone’s good speech (wind) shifted the winds away from Miami Beach, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton etc. Thank you whoever you are!…Update: Miami Beach, unfortunately, is dark and desolate but at Talmudic College of Florida the Torah study shines brightly. The yeshiva is feeding people returning and students are assisting in area cleanup. Meanwhile, we pray for the safety and recovery of the many affected.

The kinderlach are well, thank G-D. Naomi started college this year making her life even busier. Dovi my oldest son and Yisroel Zev my youngest are shteiging away at yeshivas in the U.S. Yitzi is studying in yeshiva in Yerushalayim and is so excited.

Please join us for High Holiday services and Yom Tov and weekly Shabbos meals. A special thank you to our dedicated volunteers whose loving efforts make the Minsk special. And of course, thank you for your continued support of the Anshei Minsk and the important work it does on behalf of the community. Yes, a historical Shul making new history.

Please note that temporarily donations to the Anshei Minsk should be made out to Beth Oloth. Anshei Minsk will receive the monies and Beth Oloth Charitable Organization will issue a charitable receipt in full. If you have any questions please call me at 647.770-3479 or 647.727-6909.

Shana Tova

Rabbi Shmuel Spero