Every year, Chanukah at Chabad of Tallahassee, Fla., brims with daily festivities all week.

This year’s lineup ran the gamut from a Lego Menorah at our Lake Ella shorefront family festival to a joint 7-foot-tall campus menorah-lighting with Hillel, and from a holiday message to outgoing Gov. Rick Scott and his cabinet to our “Latke Master Chef and Olive-Oil Press” workshops at Chabad.

But why are we constantly extending ourselves with all these Chanukah programs? Well, I got a personal answer of my own just last night.

A Jewish senior by the name of Irwin Friedman called me last week. We’d never met. He wanted to know about his bar mitzvah Torah portion.

When we spoke between frenetic Chanukah preparations the next day, Irwin told me about the serious injury he had sustained a few years back that virtually keeps him permanently homebound. His vision and hearing weren’t much better. I told Irwin that I’d visit him during Chanukah.

Yesterday, when I called to alert him I was en route, the following conversation ensued:

Irwin: Rabbi, when did Chanukah start?

Rabbi: A few days back. On Sunday.

Irwin: Wow, I didn’t even know that! I don’t even have a menorah.

Rabbi: No worries, Irwin. I’m bringing a menorah with me.

Irwin: I live far from you, in the woods off a dirt road. You may have a hard time finding it at night.

Rabbi: I’ll manage. It’s not the first time I’m looking for a Jew on a dirt road.

Irwin: But my backyard is dirty and wet. Maybe you want to wait until next week when it’s dry?

Rabbi: Don’t worry! I’ll bring my special Chanukah boots.

I wasn’t about to give up the opportunity of bringing Chanukah joy to a person who clearly could use it. I reminded myself that this is why the shluchim are here, and of the special love the Lubavitcher Rebbe had for each and every Jew—and since we remain the Rebbe’s messengers, that’s what he would want us to do.

Well, immediately after lighting my own menorah and having dinner with the family at home, I tugged on my Chanukah boots—which happened to be two Publix shopping bags to protect my shoes—and drove off to visit Irwin.

Irwin was right; it was not easy finding his place. But with some time and determination, he was finally located. We sat down to talk.

Irwin Friedman waxed nostalgic. In a magical reverie, he confessed his disconnection as a young adult from Judaism, discomfited by a childhood impressions of a faith that was all seriousness and no fun whatsoever. I heard about an injury now a decade old, about chronic suffering, of five years of worsening symptoms and the mature thoughts of a pensive man taking those tender first steps of peace towards G‑d and reconnectedness. He felt closer to his Creator than ever, but wanted to know what to do with it—what to study, what to learn.

In the dim light of his modest abode, we lit the menorah I had brought for him. It was his first Chanukah menorah-lighting since childhood, he said. The room grew brighter.

I explained how Chabad works hard to render Judaism lively for children and students so that the demoralizing experiences of generations gone remain gone—that instead, children remain connected to their Jewishness.

This is why Chabad works hard on Chanukah to bring that happy and positive light to every Jew possible.

Irwin uses an iPad with text-to-speech software. It helps him “read” what he can’t quite see. Before we called it a night, Irwin was set up with a selection of several audio-ready classes on Chabad.org for his listening enjoyment, plus a brand-new mezuzah on the front door for himself and his roommate, who also turned out to be Jewish.

It was a different Irwin Friedman who saw me off at the door.

Before I left, he divulged that he most recently had found some form of therapy with the potential to effectively treat and perhaps even cure his injury. Friends were now spearheading a drive to raise the $5,000 needed.

Boots on my shoes, I told him that Chabad would help, and I stepped out into the night.

To donate to Irwin Friedman via Chabad of Tallahassee, click here.