Sephardic Jews have the long-held custom of saying Selichos from the beginning of the month of Elul. Recently, some Brazilians have another custom for Rosh Chodesh Elul: to fly to New York.
Members of Chabad of Morumbi, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods of Sao Paulo, Chabad of Pinheiros and the Congregation Beit Yaacov Safra, have been coming in every year to spend the first Shabbos of Elul at the Rebbe’s Ohel gravesite in Queens.
A group of some 25 people, accompanied by Shliach Rabbi Dovid Weitman, flew in and out of New York to spend Shabbos at the Ohel as a preparation for Rosh Hashana.
The group arrived Friday morning, spent Friday and Shabbos at the Ohel, taking part in learning and farbrengens.
Sunday, they toured Crown Heights, visiting 770, the Rebbe’s room and the Rebbe’s library.
They flew back to Brazil on Sunday night.