By Danit Schusterman, co-director of Chabad of Maui in Wailuku, Hawaii
As Shluchim living in the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands, our 9-year-old son goes to school on the web.
He is in the 4th grade in the Nigri International Shluchim Online School which provides education for Shluchim’s children. One of my son’s classmates also lives on an island – Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.
I have a great aunt, my grandfather’s baby sister, who lives there too. She is the only remaining sibling of 6 siblings originally from South Africa.
When I was reminded this past Friday that it was her birthday, I thought of the father of my son’s classmate. His name is Rabbi Meir Kaplan of Chabad of Vancouver Island.
It was already late on Friday afternoon in Canada but I figured I might as well try. We asked him if he would be able to bring some fresh Challah at her home in honor of her birthday.
“With pleasure! Just give me her number to make contact.”
They connected and Rabbi Kaplan later updated us that her Shabbos candles were all set up on the table and that she lights candles each week.
I thanked him profusely and sent the photos he took of her with her candles and Challah to my father and aunt to show them. They grew up with her and know her very well.
This kind gesture of the Shliach warmed the hears of our entire family. I am still receiving messages from distant relatives around the world, some I did not even know, saying how wonderful it was for my great-aunt to receive the Challahs and how happy and special she felt.
And then I realized that this is what Chabad is really about. This is what the Rebbe is and taught us all. It is all about connecting and helping each other to reach out and touch another Jew.
A special thank you to Rabbi Kaplan and Chani Kaplan for doing such a special Mitzvah and making a birthday girl feel so special!