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The Chanukah Report

Dear Friends, 

Shabbat Parshat  Vayechi:
Friday, Dec.  21 : 6:30 pm "User-Friendly" Services Followed by Shabbat Dinner. Candle Lighting at  5:08 pm
Saturday  Dec. 22: 10:00 am Shacharit Services 
 Buffet Kiddush following!
                                5:15  pm Mincha, Informal Torah Study. Maariv & Havdalla at  6:05 pm.
 
The Scoops:
  • Torah Classes this Thursday (tomorrow)  
  • New Torah Studies Course will begin on January 3 entitled Attaining Freedom! Click here for more about it!
  • Mommy & Me will be starting up again in January. Please let us know what is you first three choices for preferred days of week and times of day. 
  • Israel: We've got deadlines to keep...! If you plan on joining us for the Mission to Israel, please let us know! More info at www.chabadtexas.org/israel Be sure to check the blog there too! 
The News: 
    Chanukah was amazing and popping with activity! Covered widely by the press, Chabad in Texas was in full gear with events literally everywhere! The mission: To get the message out to the masses (via annoucements or news media outlets) publicizing the miracle of Chanukah to all mankind. Chanukah's message heralds freedom of religion for all!
     
    This is what Rabbi Chaim, Chanie & Clan were up to...
    • Erev Chanukah: We put up a mezuzah and held a Chanukat Bayit for Tali & Chen Bublil! Mazel Tov!
    • First evening: We celebrated the birthday of Moshiko Chen with a farbrengen! Mazel Tov!
    • Second evening: Chanie got sick, so I got to truck the kids around! All the kids piled into my menorah mobile and we joined an amazing lineup of police escorted cars, stretch limos and Porsches as we paraded through town, stopping traffic via 610 and 59! The parade was covered by TV Channels 2 & 11.
    • The parade ended at the Sugar Land City Hall for a beautiful menorah lighting. The lighting was covered by TV Channel 39.
    • Third evening: Our wonderful Torah Studies class in Uptown!
    • Fourth Evening: Chanukah Shabbat Dinner at Uptown. What a great time and l'chaims were had by all. Now I know why we do not drive on Shabbat!(?)
    • Fifth Evening: Our very own Uptown party! Chanukah bowl was tons of fun for close to 100 people as we took over the alley with Chanukah music, big screen Chanukah presentations and of course lit the Bowling Pin Menorah (many thanks to Bernard and Ben Silverman for building the frame). Many, many thanks to all the volunteers and to Andrew, Andrea, Hava & Leah Schultz for all of their help and great photography. Amazing pics will be going up on the website soon!
    • Sixth Evening: Are you ready for this?! Chanukah party for Chabad Hebrew School...
    • Bridal Shower for Chanale Brafman to engaged to marry Yisroel Cotlar - Mazel Tov!...
    • And... off to the amazing Chanuka Fest and concert downtown. Whew... we were tired by the end of that day. Chanukah Fest was covered by Channels 2, 11, 13 & 39
    • Seventh Evening: Chabad's"Golden Circle" made Chanukah parties at various senior citizen centers in Houston, including the Little Hampton at Bering which I attended. This was after placing 13 mezuzos, visiting three people at the hospitals and writing two speeches....
    Eighth Evening:  It all culminated with a beautiful private reception with Texas Governor Rick Perry. This was covered by the media widely throughout Texas. For overviews on this, you can:
     
    We are looking to seeing all of you on Shabbat!
     
    Rabbi Chaim & Chanie 

    My notes from the Governor visit

    See also:

    Making history as a first Governor to host a Chanukah ceremony, Texas Governor Mr. Rick Perry welcomed a large delegation of Shluchim to the capitol in the Governor’s "public reception room" outside of his private office. After head Shliach Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff introduced himself as "from Houston", the Gov responded "your the chief, right?"

    Rabbi Lazaroff gave him regards from Pres. Bush and Jerry Kane. He mentioned that Fred Zeidman is also a good friend. Rabbi Mendel Block brought regards from Sen. Florance Schapiro (who facilitated to help make the meeting happen and is a member of Chabad of Plano).

    Rabbi Dovid Goldstein introduced himself as also coming from Houston and the lead Jewish chaplain for Texas Dept. Of Criminal Justice and the state schools (for mentally challenged). The Gov thanked him for what he does.

    Rabbi Yossi Lazaroff (who was the last in the lineup) introduced himself as Chabad at Texas A&M, of which the Gov. is an alumnus and a member of the corps. The Gov was got really excited and all the Shluchim applauded.

    He then began from those he missed, and when he saw Rabbi Zev Johnson, wearing a UT color tie, he immediately said you must be from the Univ. of Texas! Ah you guys (Yossi and Zev) are on two ends of the line.... (laughter)

    Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff then addressed the governor. Telling him that the Shluchim present representing the sixteen branches and 24 Rabbis in Texas, named each city again while going around the circle, and when reaching A&M the Gov gave the traditional aggie thumbs up.

    Lazaroff continued that Chanukah is about freedom of expression and America allows us to follow a faith each one desires. He thanked the governor for recently passing the "religious viewpoint anti-discrimination act" for religious expression in our public schools and for advocating for the moment of silence, something our Rebbe, our spiritual international leader, of blessed memory strongly felt about. And as you said many times America, is about freedom of religion not freedom from religion. We also appreciate your advocating for school choice. Allowing school tax payers to choose the choice of schooling for their children.

    Rabbi Lazaroff concluded that Chanukah and the menorah is also about religious freedom to which we share its light with others. We therefore present you with this menorah which reads presented to Governor Rick Perry, Chanukah (of the Jewish year) 5768 (to the creation of the world) Dec 11 2007 Chabad Lubavitch of Texas.

    Rabbi Lazer Lazaroff lit the menorah, the shluchim sang Haneiros Halalu with an upbeat al nisecha and clapping at the end to which the Gov. joined.

    Gov. Perry then spoke. He said (transcribed from recording):   "Rabbi, thank you. And to each of you, thank you. Thank you for your love of G-d, your love of Israel, your love of our country and your love of our state. It is an honor for me to publicly stand with you as we profess our faith, appropriately and publicly, in this building. I am grateful for your public service, as well as your faith and long may they both live. G-d bless you." [Applause]

    He told the Shluchim that he is coming from a visit to Jerusalem, it is an awesome place I have pictures to show you. "Can I ask y'all to come in my office for just a moment? I want to show you something on my computer”.

    The Shluchim all followed him into his private office. He had his laptop on his desk with an entire album of pictures from a recent trip to Israel. He had some great shots he took of the Kosel and Yerushalayim. He had the excavations and a picture by the stone in the tunnel tour with the water coming out where he said now that spot is really something.

    He was excited to see Rabbi Yossi Lazaroff again and took another picture with him in front of a display with his boots from when he was in the Texas A&M corps. and a portrait of Lawrence Sullican Ross, the 19th Governor of Texas and president of A&M during the 1890s.

    See also:

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