From an early age there was not much doubt what be in Levi Ezagui’s future. He would be a rabbi, just like his father Rabbi Pinchas Ezagui.
“I was raised in Ormond Beach,” Rabbi Levi Ezagui said. “My parents did the same exact thing that I am doing now, except I’m in Palm Coast making a Chabad Jewish Community.”
While his father is conducting the annual Shabbat at Chabad Lubavitch in Ormond Beach, his son will be conducting his Chabad’s first Shabbat for those of the Jewish faith in Palm Coast.
The Chabad of Palm Coast on 1 Faraday Drive, is in its infancy looking for members for its new family.
“We go to cities and try to reach every Jew,” Ezagui said. “We are not looking at the way they are outwardly, we are looking at their soul. We don’t label people; we don’t look at a Jew as how affiliated or how religious he is, or what his background is — we don’t care about that. If he has a Jewish soul, that’s what counts.”
The Shabbat is one of many programs Ezagui wants to offer at the Chabad, including bar mitzvahs, bat mitvahs, classes and services. Weekly classes to study the Torah are now being held on Mondays.
“We are building a Jewish center and we want the Jews to come to us in the outreach way,” Ezagui said. “Through that philosophy we are opening this Chabad house starting with the Shabbat meal this weekend. This is not a Chabad building, it’’ a house; a house is cozy, you feel at home.”
Ezagui said the Shabbat is held to commemorate and sanctify the day of rest by having a meal together, the Kiddush, a blessing recited over a cup of wine prior to the taking of the challah (bread).
“We will have gefilte fish, traditional matzah ball soup, maybe chicken soup – I need to speak with the chef,” he said.
The chef is his wife Tzivya who also organizes schedules.
“She is the chef, and the neck,” he said. “I’m the head and she moves me.”
He doesn’t know how many people will attend.
“Obviously we would like to have a lot of people come who want to be affiliated, but if it’s one person we touch that’s good enough for us.”
“We all have different shapes and sizes, and we all look different, but the one thing we have in common is we all have a soul,” Ezagui said.