Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Rabbi is Here! From Mark

From Saturday, December 8, 20072:13:00 PM
The Rabbi is Here!

He was not supposed to come until the 9th and 10th of December which would have put him at the last days of Channukah.
For a little while, we did not think he would make it, but Adonai has everything in His control. Funny thing about prayer, it works. Now I know everybody says, "Duh!" But think about it: how many times do we try and scheme and figure things out, present company included, when all we need to do is pray. We have a G-d who listens to even the faintest of whispers and will move heaven and earth to make our requests come true, but I digress.
What happened is that the Rabbi and his chaplain's assistant flew here on commercial air, and as part of the ritual, they lost his luggage. Well, Baruch HaShem, he found his luggage, but that messed up all of the prior coordination because he missed all of his connecting flights in country; therefore, he had to redo his schedule. Now, instead of being the last stop, we were the first.
Anyway, I linked up with a Marine that I work with who is Jewish. Unfortunately, I did not put two and two together, so I did not realize he was Jewish until the fourth night when one of the other Marines asked me about Channukah, and wanted to know some of the traditions that go with it. Well, I told him and then asked why he was interested. He told me that Sgt Friedman is Jewish, but no one had made any overtures at wishing him Happy Channukah.

Of course, I felt even worse because it did not dawn on me until this Marine made me aware of this. Anyway, I gave him one of the many Channukiahs that people had sent me. At first he thought somebody was messing with him since no one had made a big deal of it. Well, when he found out that the Marine really wanted to wish him Happy Channukah, he was touched.
And when I came in to work this evening, I wished him Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday) He said thank you, and that is when I invited him to light the Channukiah with me. He gladly accepted and we headed to the chapel at 1800, 6:00 p.m. When we entered the chapel, that is when we had the pleasant suprise of running into the Rabbi! So this has been a blessing after all. We went from just us lighting the Channukiah to having us and the Rabbi light the Channukiah. Then we went to dinner together. We spent over two hours just talking of different things!
Well we said good night to the Rabbi and the chaplain, and set up a time to light the Channukiah tomorrow. It will again be at 1800 hours, but as one would have it, the Jewish people started coming out of the woodwork. We talked to a few and are putting out a message for tomorrow night. I hope to see more people come to the Channukiah lighting, maybe even as many as eight.

Pray for this to come to pass.

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