Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
Celebrating what Israel’s ambassador to Japan called a “miracle,” friends and supporters of Chabad-Lubavitch of Tokyo gathered at the opening and dedication of the metropolis’ new Jewish ritual bath called mikvah last week, a project which spanned more than four years.
Rabbi Mendi and Chana Sudakevich, co-directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Tokyo, moved here from Israel in 2000. With a population of more than 13 million, Tokyo is the world’s largest metropolitan area, and most of Japan’s 2,000 Jewish residents are concentrated in the Tokyo area, with thousands more visiting the city on business or as tourists each year.
Building a new mikvah in Tokyo has been a priority for the Sudakeviches. When the couple moved to Japan, another Jewish organization in Tokyo ran a mikvah, but it was closed in 2008. For the past four years, many Jewish residents of Tokyo have been traveling 325 miles to Kobe, the only other city in Japan with a Jewish community, to use their mikvah.
Before Rosh Hashanah 2008, Chabad-Lubavitch moved into a building in the Minato neighborhood of Tokyo, and set to raising money to build a new synagogue and mikvah. Unfortunately, the move coincided with the financial crisis that began that year. Raising the nearly $200,000 needed to build the mikvah seemed impossible.
“I was trying to raise money for the mikvah all the time,” recalls Sudakevich. “We had many people say they would give the money needed, but in the end they couldn’t do so.”
By late 2010, the Sudakeviches had succeeding in raising the much smaller amount needed to renovate the synagogue area. Then, “out of nowhere,” Yair Levy, a Kobe resident, called Sudakevich and offered a generous donation that would allow them to get the mikvah project underway. Levy, originally from Israel, has lived in Japan for 17 years and is president of Congregation Ohel Shlomo in Kobe. He owns cosmetics and jewelry stores in Japan, and was about to embark on a new business venture when he decided to make the gift for the mikvah.
“I wanted to start with the soul, with a mitzvah. I know the weight of the mitzvah of mikvah. I just wanted everybody to be able to do this mitzvah,” says Levy.
About the Author: Chabad.org is a division of the Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center, under the auspices of the Lubavitch World Headquarters
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
The attacks happened just south of Karmei Tzur.
Israelis enjoy kayaking in the Jordan river in Northern Israel on August 2, 2015, as temperature reached 47 degrees Celcius in some parts of Israel.
New York Democratic Congresswoman Kathleen Rice will vote against the Iran deal.
Some Israelis seem to have forgotten no one has yet tracked down the murderers of Ali Bawabsheh.
Americans oppose the Iran deal, and only a slight majority of Democrats support it.
Chuck Schumer’s office has received more than 10,000 phone calls over the past two weeks, all of them from groups and individuals opposed to the Iran nuclear deal.
Kerry reassures the Gulf States, who are gouging him for more arms and to force Israel out of Judea and Samaria.
Its so hot, the Arab threat to drive us into the sea don’t sound half bad…
No one was injured from the mortar fire that apparently strayed during clashes.
The gang attacked a Haredi man and then a religious couple with brass knuckles and a knife. The woman recited the Shema prayer.
The Muslims preacher is a permanent fixture on the Temple Mount to incite Muslims but finally has been arrested.
The “friendly” game was cancelled after the fans took over the soccer field.
Late PM Yitzhak Rabin’s granddaughter has announced her launch into politics.
Israeli soldiers deployed at the Gaza security fence shot over the heads of Arabs who had approached the no-go zone Monday, Palestinian Authority media reported. No one was injured. Arabs frequently approached the security fence, usually with intentions to infiltrate into Israel or to carry out a terrorist attack on the spot. Palestinian Authority media […]
“This is yet another extraordinarily difficult day that we have endured, and sadly, we have recently known many especially difficult and terrible days.”
Chabad Rabbi Michael Oishie had left the building just 20 minutes before the attack.
“It was quite an institutionalized racism, and we didn’t come to get involved in politics.”
We are brought into this confusing, fascinating, infuriating world for such a short amount of time, and it’s our mission to accomplish what we can for the several decades we are allotted.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tokyo-jewish-community-celebrates-new-mikvah/2013/01/16/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: