By COLlive reporter
Bais Menachem Chabad in North Miami Beach lost power on Wednesday night as 30 congregants gathered for Mincha and Maariv services.
The power outage was due to work being done by the electric company, but it caught the people in the Shul in middle of a tradition practiced during the Nine Days of mourning in the beginning of the month of Av.
This period, the blackest days on the Jewish calendar, commemorates the destruction of both Holy Temples in Jerusalem and the nearly 2,000-year-long exile, the physical and spiritual displacement of our nation.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe spoke of the need to shine a beacon of light on these days of darkness through participation in a siyum (completion of a tractate in Torah) during each of these nine days.
R’ Shmuel Mendelsohn was in the midst of delivering such a siyum when the lights went out without warning. Congregants were quick to react, taking out their phones and shining the displays as flashlights.
Rabbi Yosef Marlow, leader of the shul, seemed pleased over the resourcefulness and commitment of his community to uphold the tradition.
“This is a time when ‘yehafech yomim eilu l’sason ulesimcha ulimoadim tovim,’ – these days will be turned into joyous days, and from darkness to light. Therefore we are preempting this by making a Siyum in the dark and turning it into light.”
Bais Menachem was founded in 1996 with a handful of Chabad families and is now home to over 160 families. However, it operates from a humble single-family house on North East 172nd Terrace.
With a roster of programs, including minyanim, shiurim, festival events, family milestones and an expanded Tzivos Hashem House, they are looking forward to their new community center that is being built next door. 75% of it is already complete and funds continue to be raised.