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Monday, October 26, 2009

Blessing of the Bikers

I rode with the Lost Tribe today.

Lost tribe are a group of very proud Jews who make up our local Jewish Motorcycle Minyan . They describe themselves as a Jewish mother’s worst nightmare.  In conjunction with the Blessing of the Bikers, Lost Tribe was kind enough to treat me to four hours of high decibel excitement, camaraderie and Torah as we ripped through the Virginian highways and Countryside.

To be honest, I had never conducted a Blessing of the Bikers before and couldn’t find it in my siddur. I related biking to the Parsha and described Avraham as he set out on his own, exposed to the elements on all four sides. Avraham was commanded to break from society, but he wasn’t frightened of society. He opened his heart up to those around him and showed the world how to follow G-d and care for each other. There are no seatbelts on Harley’s. I learned that it is the very force of the ride that keeps the biker in his seat and that we wave to other bikers because they might one day pick us up off the floor. I humbly blessed those assembled that the power of their mission keep them safely in their seats as their GPS remains focused on Jerusalem.

The ride itself was a blast. I let my tzitzis fly and kept my yarmulke on under my do-rag. We had Klezmer music piped into the helmets and even some friendly Yiddish cursing when a red pick-up cut us off. We passed Cotton fields and shipyards; we went through tunnels and over (scary) bridges. I could try to describe the ride at length, but nothing can beat the flavor of the official Ride Report:

Mike, Jim, Lee, Randy & Susan, Ben, Ron & Ellie, Howard, and Ed met at 9 am for a quick breakfast before the ride to Ghent to pick up Rabbi Haber.

After a quick fuel stop, we rode to Norfolk via I-264 to pick up Rabbi Haber and meet his family…

Off we rode to Smithfield for a quick rest stop and then it was decided we would return to the JCC and have Rabbi Haber conduct the Blessing of the Bikers. Then we would ride to Little Israel in Virginia Beach for lunch.

Arriving at the JCC approximately 2:15 pm, we were met by Mitzi, Jill, Mark, Doreen, Scott, Lauren, and Rabbi Haber’s family. Rabbi Haber conducted the Bikers Blessing with Mike and Scott blowing the Shofar! After the Blessing, several of us rode to Little Israel on Independence Boulevard for a lunch of falafel, schwarma, chicken soup, chicken sandwiches, etc. During our lunch we were met by several of the Brucha Boys [Yeshiva Bochurim] and had an opportunity to show them our rides and talk to them about motorcycling. It was surprising that they knew a lot about motorcycles and several of them were given rides. We left Little Israel and rode to the JCC where Rabbi Haber was to meet his family.

Overall, we had eighteen (18) club members in attendance during this special event! Photos have been posted on the Lost Tribe website. Looking forward to seeing everyone again at our next event! Thank you for attending and Ride Safe!

Mi K’amcha Yisroel!


Posted on 10/26 at 05:17 AM • Permalink
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Meet Rabbi Sender Haber

Rabbi Sender Haber is the Rabbi of the B'nai Israel Congregation in Norfolk, VA. He is well known throughout Hampton Roads, having arrived over twelve years ago as one of the original four members of the Norfolk Area Community Kollel. In that capacity, Rabbi Haber was involved in community wide programming, teaching, and outreach. He has inspired many Jews to expand their Jewish identity and increase their love of Torah and commitment to its observance. Everyone who knows Rabbi Haber is touched by his breadth of Torah knowledge and his ability to convey the wisdom of the ages in such a way as to make those esoteric writings accessible to persons of all levels of experience and a variety of backgrounds.

Rabbi Haber has served in a number of capacities during his years in Norfolk. Since 2003 Rabbi Haber has been a teacher of Jewish Studies at Toras Chaim Day School in Portsmouth, teaching boys and girls of all ages, with a focus on Gemara, Halacha, and Chumash. He has also taught at Yeshivas Aish Kodesh and Bina High School in Norfolk, and served as Assistant Rabbi of B’nai Israel for 6 years. He also serves as the Rabbi of the “Lost Tribe,” Tidewater’s Jewish Motorcycle group! While handling all of these responsibilities, he has continued to participate in numerous Chavrusos (one-on-one learning partnerships) covering a wide range of topics and writings.

Rabbi Haber and his wife Chamie have been married for thirteen years. They have four children, Minna (9), Moshe (6), Ely (4), and Akiva Meir, born in August of 2012. They both come from rabbinic families steeped in Torah, Kiruv and Chesed. Rabbi Haber received his Rabbinic Ordination (Yoreh Yoreh) from Rabbi Sender Rosenbloom and Rabbi Mordechai Freidlander of the Jerusalem Beth Din. He was awarded a Teaching Certificate by Torah Umesorah Association for Jewish Day Schools in 2004 and again in 2009. In addition, Rabbi Haber has spent over a decade studying Talmud, Jewish Law, and ethics in some of the world’s most prestigious Yeshivos including Beth Medrash Gavoha in Lakewood, NJ and Yeshivas Mir in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Haber can be contacted through the Synagogue office at 757-627-7358, or through e-mail at