Chabad Helps Members Grow Spiritually, Emotionally - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chabad Helps Members Grow Spiritually, Emotionally

October 8th, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Chabad Helps Members Grow Spiritually, Emotionally

By Ellie Wendt


As you walk into the doors of The Chabad of the East Valley, gracious smiles and friendly introductions come your way.

This is a place that values community, embracing members with open arms despite their backgrounds and seeking to grow both spiritually and emotionally.

The Chabad has become a home to many Jewish citizens in the city of Chandler. As the Jewish community expands, so does the Chabad’s outreach among the community.

With various programs and educational courses, the Chabad offers a place of unity and the ability to enhance and connect with the teachings of Judaism.

Youth programs vary from Hebrew schools, winter camps, youth groups and Mitzvah training. Adults can take part in educational programs, women’s groups, special services such as the Tashlich and even sporting events like the Shul and community baseball games.

“(The Tashlich) is one of our rituals that is a family activity,” said Chabad member Masha Rimler. “It’s not sitting in services. It’s not praying. It’s really using our whole body, so it’s great even for our 1-year-old daughter to be able to participate in.”

In addition to the multiple services offered at the Chabad Center, members of the community constantly seek out opportunities to show and share their faith with the public.

With spirits and hearts full of the holiday spirit, Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish new year, provides Chabad members the opportunity to do just that.

Tashlich, the traditional casting of sins into a body of water, was performed last Monday to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. The symbolic service granted members the opportunity to extend beyond the walls of the Chabad to share and practice their faith publicly with a unique waterfront service at Desert Breeze Park in Chandler.

Members young and old from the Pollack Chabad Center for Jewish Life made the descent down McClintock Drive to Desert Breeze Park, a symbolic journey to the nearest body of water to perform the Tashlich.

Rabbi Mendy Deitsch said the Tashlich is one of the most anticipated events in the Jewish community. Deitsch described the journey to the water as a reminder to the Chabad community to “wake up and repent.”

The Tashlich comes from the Hebrew word “to cast.” Members of the Chabad gather around the water as a way of casting their sins into the water.

At the park, members gathered to perform Jewish songs and recite scripture. The service began with the blowing of the Shofar. The ram horn trumpet serves as a call to repentance.

Members of the Chabad gathered arms around one another as they sang and jumped passionately. Children were given bubbles and treats to celebrate while adults recited scriptures from the Torah.

For Chabad member Brent Finley, the event serves as a important reminder of what it means to focus on God.

“For me practicing Judaism is a new perspective,” Finley said.

Finley has been attending services at the Chabad of the East Valley for over four years. The Tashlich provides Finley and many other members of the Chabad an opportunity to share their faith with the public through their outdoor services.

The opportunity allows onlookers to view Judaism not as a secluded and overly strict religion, but as one that cherishes family and fun.

“Lots of time we seem out of place in the regular world,” Finley said.

Services like the Tashlich demonstrate the many ways in which Chabad members not only practice their faith but do so in a way that promotes family, friends and a more laid-back perspective of what it means to be a part of the Jewish community.

The Chabad promotes a welcoming environment towards all community members by offering various opportunities to study and observe the practices of Judaism despite the degree of one’s affiliation or commitment towards the religion.

For information about the Chabad, citizens are encouraged to visit the Chabad of the East Valley located on 875 N. McClintock Drive in Chandler.