“Lost in Paradise” – The tragic story of a unique Jewish soul

by Phil Schneider

The Chabad movement is probably the most unique international Jewish movement that is spread to all 4 corners of the globe. What it accomplishes through it’s vast network of activities is simply unbelievable. There are Chabad branches in nearly every country. When one least expects to find any Jewish presence, one will commonly find an entire network of activity for all kinds of Jewish activities with all of the basic needs of any Jewish traveler.

The ideology of the Chabad movement is unique in the world of Hasidim. Nearly every group of Hasidim in the world live a relatively insular lifestyle. The prevailing attitude is one that promotes abstinence from many aspects of modern lifestyle in order to stay focused on service of God. This of course leads to a situation where many Hasidim have a limited connection to many people outside of their own group. Chabad is different – very different.

The Chabad movement searches outside of it’s own walls for any Jew in order to bring them closer to service of God. They do it with enormous love for every Jew, and with a whole array of activities. When every Jewish holiday comes around, the Chabad movement is there with candles for Hanuka, Matzot for Pesach, and a ram’s horn for Rosh HaShana. But it’s much more than that. Every single Chabad family, everywhere in the world, is always prepared for a sudden influx of Jewish guests who need some help on a given weekend. Around a year ago, there was a planeload of passengers on there way to Israel who ended up stranded in Greece for a weekend. Without any notice, more than a hundred Sabbath observers came into a neighborhood in Greece with a minimal Jewish presence. But the Chabad family somehow managed to serve meals and provide lodging for all of the 100+ unexpected guests. What made this story all the more amazing is that it was just another typical story of the Chabad movement. It’s hard to believe, but these kinds of things happen all of the time, all over the world.

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