By COLlive reporter
Michael Levitt, Member of Canada’s Parliament for York Centre, is proudly Jewish. Before running for office, he was a founding member of the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee, co-chaired Liberal Friends of Israel and worked for a company providing services to Toronto’s Jewish community.
Most recently, he was seen celebrating Chanukah alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, fellow Jewish parliament members and Chabad Shluchim Rabbi Chaim and Bassy Mendelsohn.
But this past Friday, he shared on social media something personal he has kept to himself for a few years.
“For the past four years, like clockwork every Friday afternoon, I am visited by the wonderful students from Mesivta Lubavitch Toronto, a local yeshiva,” he wrote.
“Rain or shine, they come by to lay tefillin and discuss the upcoming parsha,” he added and posted a photo of himself putting on Tefillin and reciting Shma Yisroel.
Levitt said that “I have never before shared this very personal experience but given the current rise in antisemitism, I think it’s important that we embrace our Jewishness and celebrate it openly whenever we can.”
The response to his posts on Facebook and Twitter has mostly been warm and positive.
“Shabbat shalom Michael,” Michele Raviva responded. “The boys from Lubavitch come around our place often to get the boys/men to put on tefillin or offer Holiday paraphernalia. They truly are a blessing.” To which Larry Rachlin added, “They got me too, just a few minutes ago. Shabbat Shalom.”
“I’m not Jewish but antisemitism (or anti- any belief) is insane!” Mary Jean wrote. “Your courage will inspire your students. Well done!”
Another person, Devon Terrio, commented: “I thought this was some kind of wearable electronics and i was trying to figure out from the picture what it was supposed to do.”
JB responded: “It’s a kind of signal booster for prayer transmission. I’m waiting for phylacteries 2.0 which don’t have the long leather antennae.”