Yes You Can!

Rabbi Shmulik Greenberg
3 min readJul 31, 2021

So much of what we think we can or can not do comes from self-limiting beliefs. These are the assumptions or perceptions we have either about ourselves or about the way we think the world works.

Exactly 18 years ago, Tzivie and I got on a plane (along with a 10 month old Mendel) and did what many would have labeled as “not exactly normal”, “not do-able”, or simply “not practical”. We had packed up our apartment in NY and said good-bye to everything that was familiar, including the kosher food, Jewish schools and family who lived just around the corner.

We arrived in Vancouver with the names of only 3 Jews who lived here, (Julian Levi, pictured below at our very first Chanukah event, was one of those. He and his wife Lorna welcomed us, held our hand and encouraged us from the get-go!) but we had a vision and a lot of motivation. We brought with the few dollars that we had saved along with the contributions that we had received from friends and family who believed in our plan and purpose.

Of course you can say it was crazy and a little impractical, but that is only true if you believe that.

Yet the moment you let go of that limiting-belief (Whoever defined “normal”?! Perhaps it wasn’t average, but our goal was what we determined as “normal”.) there is room for your vision to become a reality.

If you believe in the infinite power of each individual and that faith, perseverance and hard work does pay off, you can accomplish so much more than you once thought.

I am sharing this thought with you, and reminding myself of it too. It is not as though we have “arrived” at our final destination and now we are sitting with our feet up. We have so much more work ahead of us and our vision and dreams continue to grow.

Letting go of limiting beliefs is a work in progress. It requires daily prayer and meditation to remind ourselves that we are a fragment of G-d, His divine messengers in this world. and therefore our potential is so, so great.

There is so much that can be done and so much that we can do.

Here at Chabad, we look forward to continued and exponentially greater growth in the coming 18 years and beyond!

Just as a little visual, and for fun, I included two sets of “Then and Now” pictures.

Here at our first Chanukah, with a fairly small crowd, tiny as a matter of fact, in relation to the hundreds of people who now attend our local Menorah lighting ceremony. The second picture is of Chanukah 2019.

In the following picture we are posing with the Rifkins, who we met just weeks after arriving here, at our first community event 18 years ago. No doubt, G-d’s way of backing our plan.

We are deeply grateful for the tremendous blessings they have brought to our community since that first encounter. Picture is in 2005 when Marty and Kate first purchased this building so that Chabad would have a home.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom.