By COLlive reporter
A one-day trip to Puerto Rico this week left Rabbi Kalman Weinfeld, member of the Vaad Hakashrus of OK Kosher Supervision, amazed and filled with admiration for the Rebbe’s Shluchim.
Rabbi Weinfeld arrived in S. Juan, Puerto Rico, for a Kashrus mission, and looked up the local Chabad Center to daven Mincha and Maariv.
He ventured out to the Chabad Center, led by Rabbi Mendel and Rochi Zarchi. “I was amazed at what I saw,” he told COLlive.com.
He saw a huge, magnificent building with an elevator, the center of a flourishing community. Minyanim for Shachris, Mincha and Maariv take place daily, as well as services every Shabbos.
“You would think that it’s Puerto Rico, there would be a few tourists, but I saw a large and flourishing community,” he said.
He could see the remnants of a festive Purim event, and preparations for the upcoming Pesach holiday.
After Mincha, Rabbi Zarchi departed to go to give a Bar Mitzvah lesson, so he had asked a community member to share a Mishna in the time between Mincha and Maariv.
“It’s so nice to see that he shares his work with others,” Rabbi Weinfeld says.
The Chabad Center boasts a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen, with separate areas for dairy, meat and pareve, where they cook meals they provide for visitors and tourists year-round.
They prepared a delicious falafel, and packed it to go professionally. “The hachnosas orchim that I received from them was extraordinary,” he says. “They did not let me leave without a good meal, Rebbetzin Zarchi and her daughter Batsheva begged me to wait for a batch of delicious cookies which were being taken out of the oven.”
The visit was an eye-opening experience, Weinfeld says.
“When you visit any Chabad house in the world, you can see that Chabad is alive,” Rabbi Weinfeld says. “Sometimes we may feel pity for the Shluchim who are in faraway places that they live so far, on the contrary, we should not feel bad for them for living far away, we should have rachmonus on those who have not found their shlichus yet,” he says.
“It’s a reminder how we should view the world, that we should all be involved in the Rebbe’s work, and when we visit such a place, it gives Chizuk on how we all have to be.”