Project Inspire’s Tisha B’Av Film: Rebuilding the Beis Hamikdosh – One Word at a Time
By Gavriel Horan
If you are reading this now, it means that another Tisha B’Av came and went, but Moshiach has not yet come. What can we do to ensure that next year will be different? Project Inspire’s Fifth annual TishaB’Av film, “Just a Word” offered a powerful solution to change the world – one word at a time. Tens of thousands of people in 40 frum communities across North America and the world left Tisha B’Av with a message they will never forget.
The film began with inspirational words from Rav Dovid Weinberger of Sharei Tefillah in Lawrence and was hosted by the renowned speaker Charlie Harary.
“The ability to change lives, he explained, was with the power of speech.”
He continued to share two inspirational stories showing how someone’s life was indelibly changed from just a few short words. The first story was about Danny Dangoor – a kosher chef from Los Angeles, whose life was changed when he remembered that someone once told him that “Hashem has his back.”
When a job interview in New Jersey took a turn for the worse last summer, he remembered the phrase and began to think about what good could possibly come out of having traveled all the way to New Jersey from L.A. for nothing. Just then he recalled that someone had mentioned that there was a big Jewish event going on that day in New Jersey. He was slowly getting more involved with Judaism and decided to find out where it was. A quick phone call revealed that it was just a short train ride away. Soon he found himself at the Siyum HaShas in Met Life Stadium. Although he felt out of place with his long hair in the sea of black and white, his neshama was inspired to begin learning gemara for the first time in his life. Today he learns the daf every day with a bal habas in L.A. and has already finished the first three mesechtas of shas!
The second story was about Jack Samuel, a real estate agent in Toronto, who was introduced to Yiddishkeit by a frum client of his many years back. After Rabbi Shlomo Cheyn agreed to sign on the property that Jack had shown him, he produced a contract of his own. The contract stated that in return for purchasing the property, Jack had to agree to come to the Cheyn’s new home for Shabbos and attend two kiruv classes. “I’m willing to sign your contract if you sign mine,” he said to Jack. Jack agreed and within no time he took off to attend yeshiva and was on the road to building his own Torah observant family. Rabbi Cheyn eventually taught two of his children in yeshiva!
“These stories show how easy it is to change someone’s life forever,” Project Inspire’s Managing Director and the film producer, Rabbi Yossie Friedman said. “That’s the message of Project Inspire: reaching out is simple – you just have to care enough to do it. It just takes going a little out of our comfort zones and realizing that we what we say can change people’s lives.”
As Tisha B’Av came to an end, Project Inspire broadcasted a live program on Nachum Siegel’s radio show hosted by Mr. Harary. People who watched the film were asked to call in and tell their stories of inspiration with regard to using their power of words. In addition to regular callers, the show also included calls from included Rabbi Menachem Zupnick of Passaic, as well as Rabbi Yerechmiel Milstein and Rabbi Chaim Sampson of Project Inspire. One caller had attended the filming of one segment of the movie and reported that after hearing Mr. Harary’s words he was inspired to invite a non-frum family over for Shabbos. “I realized that you really don’t have to be a godol to use your words to impact someone’s life,” he said.
At the end of the film, Mr. Harary challenged the viewers to take one minute to build one relationship with another Jew who is estranged from Yiddishkeit. We could change the world! In response, hundreds of people registered to be paired up with one-on-one learning partners. By next Tisha B’Av there may be countless Jews who are closer to Hashem because of their efforts. They are helping to rebuild the Beis Hamikdosh – one word at a time. May we all merit to see it completed, speedily and in our days, so that next Tisha B’Av can be a Yom Tov.
Visit www.kiruv.com to learn more about how you can get involved in Project Inspire.