Shabbat at the Cavalier combines joy, support for Israel, and comraderie

by | Dec 7, 2023 | Trending News

Bob Lehman
A desire to be with each other and the greater Jewish community in solidarity for the State of Israel brought 140 people to the Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club on Friday, Nov. 17.

The evening was nothing short of magical. While the attendees were mostly Jewish, many people of other faiths joined the evening in support of Israel and disparaging antisemitism. Occurring three days after the March for Israel was held in Washington, DC on the National Mall, the Shabbat dinner’s organizers – Bob Lehman and Bonnie Brand –envisioned bringing the joy and happiness that was so evident in DC back to Tidewater. Two previous Shabbat dinners had taken place at the Cavalier, but this Shabbat dinner focused on Israel and the Israeli people exclusively.

After a moving Ha’Tikvah sung by all in attendance, Avraham Ashkenazi lead the Prayer for Peace for Israel. Tidewater’s two Israeli Shinshinim, Naomi Friedland and Maya Ostrow, lead the Prayer for the Israel Defense Forces.

An empty seat at the table was draped with the Israeli flag, commemorating the missing hostages. A very emotional speech was delivered by David Brand, who pointed out the empty seat and acknowledged that the 200+ hostages would not be at their own family’s Shabbat table. Brand had just returned from Israel the previous day, having met with Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as with multiple hostage families. Brand had helped lead a delegation with Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares to Israel to witness the atrocities of the rapes, murders, and kidnappings of innocent Israelis. Because of Brand’s representation of Tidewater and Virginia to Israel, he led the Prayer for the Hostages Return.

Shabbat prayers were given by Nathan Drory, Bonnie Brand, and Bob Lehman.

The dinner, which was quintessentially Israeli, included a variety of savory Israeli-themed offerings.

People stayed until 9:30 pm, underscoring that as Jews and supporters of Israel, a communal event such this was needed to share love and discuss the situation in the Jewish homeland. Thousands of hugs, kisses, and camaraderie were evident from the first minute until the end.

This event is believed to be the biggest Shabbat gathering outside of a synagogue in Tidewater, ever.