Holy Bowly

Sunday, 6 March, 2022 - 3:01 am

By the Grace of G-d

Dear Friend,

First of all,

The war in Ukraine is shocking. Click here, for stories of its 350,000 Jewish men, women and children, who, together with Ukraine's entire population, have been in harm's way as residents and as refugees.

With prayers for the safety of all those who find themselves in danger and that we see the day when “nations will beat their swords into plowshares … and not learn war anymore.”

Many have asked me how they can help?

Spiritually, help can be sent through prayer and mitzvahs.

Today as the sun sets, Shabbat will be ushered in. Jewish women and girls worldwide, light Shabbat candles on time and add light to the world. Shabbat candles are an especially powerful mitzvah that ushers peace and light into the world.

Click here for instructions

 Financially, you can help via The Ukraine Jewish Relief Fund has been established to help provide assistance to the Jewish communities in Ukraine impacted by the war.

These fund will go to directly to the relief efforts, to provide food, shelter, transportation for escape, and other vital provisions to those who are in need.

Oseh Shalom Bimromov Hu Yaaseh Shalom Aleinu Ve’al Kol Yisrael VEIMRU AMEN!!!

Now for something local. Here in Bangkok.

On Monday 4:43 AM a fire broke out in the fourth floor of Major Cineplex at Soi Ekamai (you can see pictures of the flames in this report) and quickly spread to the third and fifth floor.

Why am I writing about a fire in Bangkok?

Because about twelve hours earlier, Nechama and I had taken our local chapter of CTeen to a bowling activity at the bowling alley in the fourth floor of Major Cineplex at Soi Ekamai.

Thank G-d the electrical circuit that is suspected as having caused the fire, did not ignite while we were there.

Who knows how close the fire may have been to breaking out when we were there and hence what big a miracle we experienced?

Before bowling, the five teenage boys put on Tefilin and said the prayers of Shema Yisrael. I am sure that those prayers, pure holiness made in such an incongruous setting, to the blaring music of non-Synagogue-style music, had a great effect.

There is something very special when holy deeds are performed where you would least expect them. The analogy given is that when a bird speaks, it causes much excitement. Not so when a person speaks. The more unexpected and absurd something is, the more excitement it generates. I am therefore quite convinced that the prayers in the bowling alley caused a joy up in Heaven.

(If you think Tefilin in a Bangkok bowling alley is cool... click on this link that shows the CTeen event last Saturday night at TIMES SQUARE in NY. What an epic Jewish Pride event!!!)

I use this forum to say Thank you Hashem, for keeping us safe.

And thank you Hashem that the fire didn’t break out when the building was full of people but happened at a time when the building was empty, and no one was harmed.

During our bowling game, I asked the teens if they could think of a life lesson to be learned from bowling.

The lesson we came up with was:


When you get a spare or a strike, the next ball you bowl has the power to not just be worth the number of pins you knock down during that frame, it also impacts the amount of points you will get on your previous frame.

The opportunities and gifts that we are endowed with, didn’t start with us. We are blessed to be a link in a glorious chain of history that came before us.

Our parents, grandparents and ancestors toiled, preserved, and sacrificed to bring us to the place that we are in life.

It behooves us to MAKE IT COUNT.

To ensure that their sacrifices are not wasted like a bowling ball thrown mindlessly that goes off into the gutter of the bowling lane.

If we think about our lives as being a continuation and culmination of all of the years of sweat and toil of those who preceded us, we will invest the proper thought and ‘kavana’ in living meaningful and inspiring lives.

We will not just squander our life away without investing it with spirituality and meaning.

A day after the bowling outing I was invited to address Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz’s 50th birthday celebration via Zoom.

This is a person who has chosen to be a beacon of light and positivity while being challenged to the highest degree.

I was humbled to be called upon to share greetings with a hero like R’ Yitzi.

For his first four decades, the life of Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz followed the typical contours of a Chassid. He was raised in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., the epicenter of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, where he observed and learned from the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.

He studied in yeshivah, enjoyed singing, strumming his guitar and dancing, and otherwise threw himself into Chassidic life.

Following their marriage, he and his wife, Dina, established a Chabad center in Temecula, Calif., where they raised their seven children.

Then the improbable happened, and the rabbi was diagnosed with a disease that robbed him of his movement but not his optimism and faith.

In the years since his diagnosis, the father of seven became a bastion of inspiration to millions worldwide through his uplifting, transformative (and always optimistic) writings on, his musical compositions and through the bright smiles he shared with the yeshivah students.

The students had the idea ofsurprising him on his 46th birthday with 4,600 mitzvahs, and shepherded the campaign into an organized global effort that gains more and more traction every year.

This year, they are aiming for 30,000 tefillin donnings and thousands of other mitzvahs besides—an ambitious increase over last year’s goal of 20,000 mitzvahs, each one documented and shared with the rabbi.

Visit and submit your mitzvah gift for Rabbi Yitzi to become part of the world’s largest birthday mitzvahthon in history!

This is a music video of a song R’ Yitzi wrote before being diagnosed with ALS. Shine a Little Light

R’ Yitzi is a source of inspiration for everyone who gets to know of him.

It adds a new meaning to the words MAKE IT COUNT!!!

My dear friends, let us give thanks to Hashem for all the myriads of blessings that we have.

For our mobility, our abilities to speak, laugh, dance and communicate.

Let us get rid of OY vey and replace it with JOY vey, or Oh YEAH as we recognize just how blessed we truly are!!!

Today is the first day of the month of Adar – the most JOYOUS month of the year.

Let us REJOICE with all the blessings that we have. And let us PRAY for peace in the world, for health for all and for the ultimate ending of this exile and its travails with the coming of Mashiach AMEN

Chodesh Tov, Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Yosef Kantor

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