Message from Rabbi Hecht


Picture of Rabbi

Dear Friends,

This past week we celebrated the achievements of the Holy Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai called the Rashbi. He is foremost known as the founder of the Kabbalah movement. His main contribution to the Jewish people was writing the holy book called the Zohar the book of light. Worshipping G-d with Joy was his motto.

Speaking about joy reminds me of a happening in the early years of Chabad. Let's share a story that happened to me some 43 years ago.

I had left the busy hub of Yiddishkeit - Brooklyn, New York. I was to live in South Bay, California. My job was to bring Jewish people to the path of a Torah way of living, Yiddishkeit. My instructions were very clear. By bringing light to the people, you come to Love your fellow Jew and worship G-d with joy.

It was Shabbos morning, a bright sunny California day. I was walking when I heard music playing. It grew louder and louder and out of nowhere a 1956 Chevy with its back higher then its front drew close to me. I was walking quickly and he was driving slowly.

Yes, I’m in trouble this car reminded me of the gangster cars we had running around during the gang fights in New York. The car stopped and a big guy full of tattoos comes out of the car and left the motor running. He says to me are you Jewish? Are you a chosid? Are you from those Jews from New York? For the life of me I thought this was the end of my Shlichus, I was no match to fight him. I said with all my strength Yes I’m a chosid from Brooklyn, New York.

He gave me the biggest smile I had ever seen. I want to shake your hand he said. I never met a real chosid before! I am a college student and we are studying religions and ways of living (anthropology). Our professor told us of the Jewish religion and that there are all kinds of Jews and the happy ones are the Chassidim. I have been searching to meet one and today is my lucky day. Thanks for the hand shake and if you would like a beer I have a six pack of Coors you can have it. Needless to say I was as happy as can be.

We need to look Jewish and be really happy. So when the Rashbi taught that one has to be happy as a Jew under all situations, he gave us a legacy. Those who are happy are the ones that make it.

This Shabbos we start the fourth book of Chumash its a good time to restart your practicing of our heritage.

Have a lovely Shabbos.

Your rabbi,

Rabbi Eli Hecht 
Regional Director
Feather and Quill