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We Are Moving

Thursday, 7 March, 2013 - 10:33 am

We_are_moving.jpgSix and a half years ago, my wife and I moved into an apartment in the Normandie Court on 95th and 3rd. We were thrilled to be able to open our Chabad center out of our apartment. We hosted Shabbat dinners and Torah classes, but it quickly became apparent that we simply didn’t have enough space for all the activities we wanted to do!
 
For the last couple of years we have been searching for a bigger apartment, and a few weeks ago we finally found something to our liking. After we looked at the apartment and decided we were satisfied with it, we gave our paperwork to the broker.
 
Slight problem.
 
Since our new apartment is bigger, and therefore more expensive, than our current apartment, the broker wanted to know, “Who will be your guarantor?”
 
My mind immediately jumped to that week’s Torah portion, which happened to be Yitro, where G-d asks the Jews “Who will be your guarantor?” for keeping the Torah. At first the nation replies “Abraham!” but that is not good enough. “Isaac? Jacob? Moses?” they keep guessing but each time G-d says, “No, not good enough.” Finally, they tell G-d, “The children will be our guarantors. Our children will ensure we pass on the Torah to the next generation and the generations after that,” and at last G-d is satisfied and accepts their bid.
 
With this story fresh in my mind (I had been reading it to my children the night before!), I told the broker, “My children will be my guarantor.” She might have thought I was crazy, but patiently said, “That definitely won’t work…”
 
So I explained. In the Torah, the world “child” can also refer to a person’s good deeds. So I was suggesting that our reputation for doing good deeds could be our guarantor.
  
“Chabad Israel Center has a strong track record and sterling reputation for helping people and spreading warmth and kindness. We are honest people who stand for morality and integrity. This is the backbone of our faith. If we say we will pay the rent then we will pay it. Ask around about us and you can find out,” we suggested. Our broker looked taken aback and highly skeptical, but agreed to try the landlord.
 
Well, lo and behold, last week the broker phoned us to let us know that our offer was successful and we would soon be moving into our new apartment three blocks south of our current one!  
 
We look forward to making our new apartment a place where we can again host Shabbat dinners, Torah classes, and other community events.
 
In this week’s Torah portion we read about G-d's house. G-d wanted the Jews to build Him a “house” in their midst – i.e., the Tabernacle. The Torah is not repetitious in general, but when it talks about the building of the Tabernacle, everything is written twice, and in detail. Why? To emphasize how precious G-d’s home is. It’s the place where His divine presence rests; a place of purity, kindness and mitzvahs.
 
Although the Tabernacle and the Temples are long gone, it is our duty to make our own homes mini temples for G-d. It’s our responsibility to make our homes (and our hearts) places where G-d feels comfortable because we are living the way He wants us to.
 
And when our homes are built on the foundation of Torah and mitzvahs, that is the strongest guarantee that the Torah will be kept, cherished, and passed on to the future generations. 
Comments on: We Are Moving
3/11/2013

Marc Neuburger wrote...

Mazel Tov!!