Hi Rabbi Feldman,
It just occurred to me that I remember 5 years ago as if it were yesterday.
I think I told you that I was on my way to Ottawa for the High Holy Holidays.
As I came off the plane from Sydney, Nova Scotia to transfer to another connecting flight, I met about 4 Hasidim, who were literally “lost.”
If I can remember, they were traveling from Israel, via Italy, on their way to New York for the holidays.
This was a Friday morning, and they were so concerned about Shabbos, no flights to U.S.A. airports.
I told them that there was an Orthodox Shul in Halifax, and I was not sure about Chabad prayer services in Halifax.
Unfortunately, I had to run down the lobby to connect with my flight, and I could not spend more time with them.
As you are aware, it’s our duty to befriend our brother Jews.
After all these years, I keep thinking, I trust and assume that the Jews of Halifax took them in. Did they have a place to stay? Did they have a Shabbos service? Were there many more Jewish itinerants stranded at Halifax Airport? Were they looked after?
One amusing story was that one of the youngest Lubavitcher fellows, could only speak Yiddish or Hebrew, and he kept saying “Tefillin, Tefillin?” I thought that he wanted to know if I had Tefillin in my carry on bag so that he could put them on. One of the older men intervened by stating that he wanted to know if I wanted to put on Tefillin.
I always remembered this incident. It was an eye-opener for me. After thinking about it, I started to put on Tefillin every morning except Shabbos & Holidays.
Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada
About 40 stranded Jews en route to New York (including these young Bochurim) spent Shabbos with Chabad in Halifax. A generous Chabad supporter hosted them all at his downtown luxury hotel completely complimentary until all were finally able to depart Motzei Shabbos to Crown Heights for Tishrei. All meals were provided throughout their stay and a Minyan was held at the Chabad House (which then operated from the hotel building).