29 December 2019 - 2 Tevet 5780 - ב' טבת ה' אלפים תש"פ
One good deed will bring another E-mail

How many pairs of Tefillin are ordered on the occasion of a boy’s Barmitzvah? Usually the answer would be one. Sometimes two or three pairs if Dad and Grandpa want to upgrade their own sets.

How then did it happen that over 20 sets of Tefillin – complete with a Talit and embroidered bag – were ordered on the occasion of just one boy’s Barmitzvah?

It all started with the desire of Hong Kong resident Benjamin Greenstein to make his Barmitzvah something more than just visits to the Rabbi for Barmitzvah lessons, the detailed planning of the celebrations, and the co-ordination of guests who would be flying in from overseas.

All of that certainly did happen, but in the case of Benjamin’s Barmitzvah, there were some other important things going on in the background. A seemingly chance visit (at just the right time) by Rabbi Chaim Danzinger, the Chabad Shliach to Rostov Russia, turned into a campaign to provide Tefillin for the boys of that impoverished community.

When Benjamin heard that the boys in Rostov all shared just one pair of Tefillin because they couldn’t afford their own, he decided to do something about it. Emails were soon sent out to friends of the family asking for their assistance in lieu of Barmitzvah gifts. A fundraising sports day on a Sunday afternoon in December was organised to encourage his friends to take part in the project. A goal of HK$50,000 was set. Donations, big and small, started to come in from friends in Hong Kong and abroad, and the initial goal was soon met. And the donations kept coming. So many people were touched by this beautiful initiative of a young boy.

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