Three years after leaving Tokyo, the whole family is back in Japan for a short visit this week. There are obviously many experiences and memories to write about, but I wanted to write a few words about a dear family and an invaluable organisation – Chabad of Tokyo.
During the 4.5 years we were living in Tokyo, Chabad was for us – as it is for many Jews around the world – the main focus of Jewish life here. The Sudakevitch family have become our friends. They arrived in Tokyo a year or so before we did, so they’ve been here for almost 9 years now. Recently the Chabad House moved to a new building, which is going to be renovated in the near future and become the centre of Jewish life in the Japanese capital.
We just spent shabbat and chag with the Sudakevitch family (we are staying in a hotel nearby). It was lovely to see them again and to have meals in their sukkah. We had “hakafot” last night with a group of tourists from Israel that really livened the place up; I’m sure the Japanese neighbours were asking themselves what the loud singing and raucous dancing was all about. Rabbi Mendi told me that on Yom Kippur they had about 200 people for the end of the day, with only about 60 chairs available. This is surely a great sign for the new Chabad house in Tokyo.
So if you’re visiting Tokyo, be sure to pay Chabad a visit!