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3 Encounters Of Thousands In And Around Greater Manchester This Year!

Thursday, 2 January, 2020 - 2:02 pm



A Taste Of The Thousands Of Encounters In And Around Greater Manchester This Year!



The Mitzvah Tank was on the side of the road at 2 a.m. with a lively discussion going on inside on the deeper meaning of Chanukah when there was a knock on the window. A curious gentleman had been walking by and wanted to know what it was all about.

It turns out he was from Perth, Australia, and didn't know he was Jewish. His dad being Christian and mum Jewish, he discovered for the first time in his life that he was, in fact, Jewish. We then helped our new friend from Perth light the Menorah and recite the Shema Yisroel. Getting in touch with his Jewish roots was so moving that he couldn’t hold back his tears.

He asked to video the Menorah so he can send to his mother, telling us she will cry when she sees it. Another Neshomo is ignited, right here in Manchester!

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IMG-20191227-WA0002.jpgOne of the institutions that L'chaim visits each holiday is an assisted living facility with one or two Jewish residents. The staff at the facility, who in the past have been allowing our volunteers to visit without prior arrangements, are always helpful in facilitating our programmes and grateful for our visits.

This Chanukah, since a new volunteer was going to visit, we decided to call in ahead of the visit to make sure everything would go smoothly. When on the phone, a nurse who’s name didn’t sound Jewish informed us that although one of the Jewish residents had unfortunately passed away just before Chanukah, the remaining Jewish resident would certainly appreciate a visit. 

"When would you be coming?" asked the nurse, who went on to explain that she would really love if the visit could be made on that very same evening, as her mother was Jewish and she would love to know more about Judaism herself!

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On the last night of Chanukah, Rabbi S. went to visit a senior care home out in Bury, where five Jewish ladies reside. The nurses kindly showed the rabbi around to the ladies, some whom were unable to be brought to the lobby, visiting them in their rooms instead.

The sight of all eight candles burning on the menorah and the traditional songs seemed to have a tremendous impact, moving one of the ladies deeply, whilst another 92 year old commented how she felt so much younger and energetic thanks to the visit.

The biggest surprise that evening, however, was when the rabbi prepared to leave and one of the residents, who had been quiet until then, expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the visit. After noticing that her speech, although clear, was slightly slurred, as well as to the surprised look on the faces of the staff, the rabbi was explained that the patient suffered from motor neuron disease which affected her speech, and that she hadn't spoken a word in weeks.




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