web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



It’s Never Too Late

Rabbi Aryeh Wuench

Rabbi Aryeh Wuench

This piece is a follow-up to a column I wrote on June 21 involving a man incarcerated in a Florida prison.

It is said there is a pintele yid, a divine spark, linking every Jew to the Creator. Sometimes that spark can be a slight flicker, a mere hint of light, but it is never extinguished.

A body can be locked up. The soul can still soar. Life-changing moments can happen in the most unexpected circumstances.

The Aleph Institute supports Jews in two very diverse areas of life. Aleph serves Jews in the military. It also serves Jews who are in prison. Several years ago Rabbi Menachem Katz, Aleph’s director of Prison and Military Outreach, was ministering to Jewish inmates in Blackwater Correctional Facility in Milton, Florida. His words were overheard by a nearby prisoner, Pablo Manuel Diaz.

Diaz asked the rabbi a question. Rabbi Katz wondered why Diaz was interested. Diaz replied that his maternal grandmother had confided to him that she was Jewish. There are pivotal times in life. This was one of them. Katz took out his tefillin. A journey had begun.

Pablo Diaz has had rough times. He is serving a life sentence in prison for very serious crimes. He decided he wanted to make a change.

Diaz began to pray and put on tefillin. He explored his heritage. He read the Jewish-themed magazine Aleph Institute distributes to prisoners. He was riveted by an ad he saw in the pages of the publication.

The ad was from Brit Yosef Yitzchak, a group dedicated to providing circumcision to all Jewish males, of any age, free of charge. The procedure is performed by experienced mohels in a medically correct setting. The motto of the organization is “It’s Never too Late.”

Diaz petitioned the Florida Department of Corrections to allow him to undergo the procedure. His appeal was turned down. Students and professors from Stanford Law School helped with the case. Diaz eventually was given permission.

Three weeks ago, Pablo Manuel Diaz became an official “member of the tribe.” The brit took place in the prison infirmary. Mohel Rabbi Aryeh Weiss and sandak Rabbi Aryeh Wuench, BYY volunteer and development director, were joined by the facility’s staff nurse.

There were tears of joy, singing and dancing. Diaz recited the Shema Yisrael. The participants sipped grape juice. “This was an incredible example of achdut by the Jewish community,” said Rabbi Wuench. “The mohel is Satmar. I’m Lubavitch. Jews from every walk of life were involved in working on the case.”

Brit Yosef Yitzchak has performed over 42,000 circumcisions throughout the world. There are international headquarters in Israel, Russia and the Ukraine. The brit is traditionally performed on the eighth day of a baby boy’s life. There are many reasons and many circumstances, however, that can interfere with the ceremony taking place in a timely fashion.

The vast majority of men BYY accommodates are from the former Soviet Union. There are hundreds of thousands of Jews in this category. “This situation is unique to our generation,” said Wuench. “We have to step up to this challenge. The need is great.”

For further information or to contribute, contact Aryeh Wuench at 305-992-7701 or the toll free at 1-877-BRIT MILAH.

About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.


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 “It’s Never Too Late”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Eleven people were injured by a motorist who plowed into a crowd in southern France. The driver yelled "Allahu Akbar" as he attacked. Dec. 21, 2014
French Driver Shouting “Allahu Akbar” Plows into Crowd
Latest Sections Stories
Games-121914

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

South-Florida-logo

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

South-Florida-logo

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

The NHS was also honored to have Bob Diener as keynote speaker.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

There are those who highlight the diversity of these different teachings, seeing each rebbe as teaching a separate path.

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence.

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

Try these with your kids; there’s something for every age group and once all the recipes are made, dinner will be ready!

You children will build the country and you will help restore Israel to her former glory.

More Articles from Shelley Benveniste
South-Florida-logo

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

The NHS was also honored to have Bob Diener as keynote speaker.

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

The menorah tree was originally intended as a gift to Michael’s wife, but it has taken off and is being sold around the country.

Weekly visits open an entire new world of social connection and interaction for a senior.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/its-never-too-late-2/2013/10/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: