Truth is stranger than fiction…

Before starting my tour in California this week, I spent the past Shabbat in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Over Shabbat, I got to know a Jew from LA by the name of Avraham Reiss.

Avraham, it turns out, was a student in the Lubavitcher Yeshiva over 50 years ago, back when the Yeshiva was on the corner of Bedford Ave. and Dean Street in Brooklyn.

In the early 50s, Avraham spent a summer knocking on doors in Upstate New York. His itinerary included Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany. On Tishah B'Av (a fast day when we mourn the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem), he and his friend knocked on the door of a home of a Jewish family. From the doorway, they were able to see the family seated around the table eating ham sandwiches. They were invited in and sat with the family for a few hours speaking about all kinds of things ranging from sports to politics to Torah.

The inspiration of their encounter lead the family to find out more about their Jewish heritage. Today the father is a rabbi of an Orthodox shul, and all of the kids are living fully Jewish lives.

With that inspiration in mind, Riverside California, here I come!

Chaim Litvin