The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 28 May 2005 / 19 Iyyar 5765

Post-Tsunami Bar Mitzva

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

"Yes, I am Jewish but I never had a bar mitzvah."

This is what a volunteer in tsunami-ravaged Thailand said to Rabbi Yosef Zaklos, a Chabad relief aid worker working alongside him to help the victims of that natural disaster.

"So we got out the tefillin right there and then," Zaklos is quoted as saying in a report written by Sheera Claire Frenkel in the February 16th issue of the Jerusalem Post, "and did a bar mitzvah for him on the very spot where he was volunteering."

Zaklos, who has performed four other bar mitzvahs for volunteers in the area, could not help but marvel at the Divine Providence which provided him with these opportunities.

"Sometimes you have to come all the way down to Thailand to have your bar mitzvah!" he concluded.

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