web analytics
January 25, 2015 / 5 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Yom Kippur Inspires Determination in Wake of Colorado Floods

Some 300 people came specifically because of the floods.
The Chabad Jewish Center in Longmont, Colo., was struck by flash floods.

The Chabad Jewish Center in Longmont, Colo., was struck by flash floods.
Photo Credit: Chabad.org

As heavy rains and flash-flooding continued to batter the Boulder, Colo., area straight through Yom Kippur, and with rains continuing to hamper rescue efforts throughout the region on Sunday, Chabad rabbis told of devastation and devotion, as well as a dedication to volunteerism in the tough and uncertain days ahead.

Despite severe flooding in the synagogue of the Chabad on Campus center in Boulder, Rabbi Yisroel Wilhem, co-director of Chabad of the University of Colorado, held Yom Kippur services upstairs in the lobby of the building, which is above the flood line.

“We had about 300 people in attendance. Many people were not able to leave their homes because of the devastation, but many, many others came specifically because of what has been going on,” Wilhelm said on Sunday morning.

He noted that while some who were expected to attend were not able to make it, there were many new faces as well. His sermon, he said, focused on galvanizing his community—comprised heavily of students at the University of Colorado—to get out and help others.

As soon as the holy day ended on Saturday evening, despite flooding in his own home, Wilhelm began to organize hundreds of volunteers to help locals who have been affected by the rains. He created a Facebook page and a web site where both volunteers, as well as people in need of help, can sign up. He had 25 students volunteering on Friday and expected upwards of 50 students to be on hand on Sunday, helping people salvage their personal effects and valuables from their waterlogged homes.

“I have my new hero,” said Wilhelm. “A student who lives up the canyon was told by the police that he could not make his way down to services because of the flooding since the road was not there anymore. He just came down with his bike. He was wet and dirty to his waist because he had to cross two ‘rivers’ while holding his bike in the air. He stayed with us for Yom Kippur.”

The student, Jefferey Schnissel, is a chemistry major at University of Colorado. Schnissel, who is still recovering from a wrist injury, said the roads between his residence Cold Creek Canyon and the Chabad center had been washed away, and the only way he was able to come was via a patchwork of bike trails and streets.

 ‘Especially Poignant’ Yom Kippur Services

“At times, it was scary, and I did not know where to turn next, but I knew that I needed to be at Chabad for Yom Kippur and that I was in G‑d’s hands,” he said.

“The services were awesome. It seemed like the whole community gravitated together. People felt a sense of refuge.”

Rabbi Yaakov Borenstein, co-director of the Chabad Jewish Center in nearby Longmont, serves as a chaplain with the Longmont Police department. Borenstein received an urgent phone call on Thursday evening asking for reliable people to distribute blankets, cash cards and other necessities to people in need. With less than 24 hours before the start Yom Kippur, he recruited 10 members of his community to get ready to work. They were there until 6 or 7 the next morning.

Meanwhile, the Borentsteins themselves were ordered to evacuate their home, which was subsequently damaged by the flooding.

“It was 3 a.m., and our electricity was out,” said Borenstein, “So there we were with flashlights fishing around for clothes for the kids, as well as everything we would need for our Yom Kippur services.” The Borensteins got the last room in the same hotel where they had previously booked the meeting room to host Yom Kippur services. “We also paid for rooms in a nearby hotel for a number of other families who had lost their homes.”

Borenstein says the services were especially poignant, as despair and gloom hovered in the atmosphere. “We have not had a flood in Colorado in 100 years. That means that no one has insurance.

“Looking forward, we are going to have to help everyone get back on their feet. Across the street from the Chabad center, houses are devastated. Thank G‑d our door faced away from the current, and we managed to sandbag the doorways in time, but others were not as fortunate. People were crying, knowing that it is going to be a very, very hard year.”

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.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Yom Kippur Inspires Determination in Wake of Colorado Floods”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends an event held at the International Conference Center in Jerusalem of the Taglit Birthright program, where Netanyahu was the guest speaker. January 14, 2015.
Netanyahu ‘Will Go Anywhere Invited’ to Prevent Iran from Achieving Nuclear Weapons
Latest News Stories
PM Netanyahu before the weekly cabinet meeting, Jan. 25, 2015.

Prior to Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Bibi talked about the dangers of Iran, ISIS and anti-Semitism and the importance of Aliyah.

Pipe bomb.

It appears the bomb was thrown or placed there yesterday but didn’t explode.

The Histadrut national labor union has warned that Israelis may have to travel without Egged buses on Monday unless company management satisfies employees and drivers’ demands on salaries and work conditions. As things stand now, late Sunday afternoon, Egged workers will stage a one-day warning strike Monday following what they say is a failure of […]

Schottenstein Ambucycle

United Hatzalah, Israel’s largest emergency medical response organization received a new ‘Ambucycle’ from Columbus donors.

ISIS terrorist murder of a Japanese citizen is terror against the world, says Israeli PM Netanyahu.

PM Binyamin Netanyahu says he’ll go anywhere he’s invited to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons.

Forensics show Argentina federal prosecutor, Alberto Nisman was murdered over the 1994 Jewish center bombing case.

In the Alberta province of Canada, a synagogue was defaced with huge block letters scrawled on its walls: ‘Leave Canada’

The small right-wing parties will hurt their ideological allies and voters, unless they get past their egos and ideological perfectionism and help their side for a change.

Japan is a very resilient nation, and they’ve chosen to respond to ISIS’s threats and blackmail demands with black humor. They’ve taken the photos that ISIS released and reworked them into various memes:

A 13 year old boy was maced by a gang in Paris. He was an easy target due to his kipa and tzitzit. What should the family do?

Miracles were added in France late last week when a soldier accidently fired a volley outside a Jewish center, harming no one.

F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to escort two US airliners faced with bomb threats as they headed to Atlanta airport Saturday afternoon.

The Hezbollah terror group says it will attack Israel with “wisdom” and take Lebanon into consideration.

This is the first time since 2012 that the dollar-shekel rate broke the 4.0 mark.

Most of the victims are showing at least some improvement, but the injuries are serious…

More Articles from Chabad.org
Gabriel Felder was selected for the prestigious honor of representing his graduating class at The George Washington University commencement, marking the second year in a row that a Jewish student leader has done so.

Felder said he and his fellow students learned well the teaching of the Rebbe.

chabad building attacked

Chabad Rabbi Michael Oishie had left the building just 20 minutes before the attack.

Canadian Chabad rabbis accompanied Harper on his trip.

“It was quite an institutionalized racism, and we didn’t come to get involved in politics.”

Gematria is more than random wordplay.

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.

If one has only enough money to afford either a cup of wine for Shabbat kiddush or oil for his Hanukkah lamp, the mitzvah of Hanukkah takes precedence.

Originally published at Chabad.org. Chabad Lubavitch emissaries will begin arriving in New York next week from all parts of the world for the Kinus Hashluchim—the annual get-together of emissaries, their parents, friends and supporters, and a record number are expected to attend this year. Organizers have spent more than six months planning for the Chabad […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yom-kippur-inspires-determination-in-wake-of-colorado-floods/2013/09/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: