Don’t blow out the tefillin

  • Hazdan1
What do you give the Rabbi who has everything? That was the dilemma faced by the Hazdan family on the eve of Rabbi Dovid Hazdan’s 60th birthday. “We sat down as a family,” says Rebbetzen Feige Hazdan, “and wanted to do something deeply meaningful for him. Dovid has always been so inspired by the Rebbe’s commitment to tefillin. Tefillin are the bond between an ordinary Jew and Ha’shem”.
by HOWARD SACKSTEIN | Jun 28, 2018

On the suggestion of the three Hazdan children, the idea of 60 people putting on tefillin for Rabbi Hazdan’s 60th birthday was born. “We called it 60 for 60,” says Feige. “What was so amazing is that the majority of these people don’t often put on tefillin – some never do.”

But then, the 60 for 60 project snowballed and it soon grew to more than 120 people, including Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein, who all arrived at a surprise Shacharit minyan, to honour Rabbi Hazdan with the gift of the mitzvah of tefillin for his birthday.

When Rabbi Hazdan arrived for morning prayers, he was met by Steven Brasg who asked him to look at an issue in the shul hall. Hazdan feared a disaster, but instead he stood stupefied, facing a group of more than 120 tallit and tefillin clad congregants singing “Happy birthday” to their Rov.

Banker Marc Green says: “I joined in because of the thoughtfulness behind the gift. I wanted to give back to a wonderful man who is always on the giving end.”

People like journalist Herby Opland are not regular shul goers. “Dovid Hazdan is a mensch of the highest order. His radiance is mirrored by each member of his beautiful family. I feel privileged to be considered his friend, and to have been asked to share in his celebration”, says Opland.

The Chairperson of the Great Park Shul, Clive Blechman, was on hand to embrace the Rabbi upon his arrival. He said: “I have been associated with the rabbi for more than 20 years, the past 15 as Chairperson. What a privilege to be able to work with him, and to honour him on his 60th birthday, not with a party, but with something much more meaningful”.

Says Opland, “Sixty is recognised as an age reflecting wisdom. In Dovid’s case, he was old with wisdom long before his time.”



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