The Chabad House of Southwest Portland Oregon has experienced 2 fires in one week. The first fire occurred on Friday night August 14 at approximately 10:30 PM, and the second one happened on August 19 at around 3:00 AM. Rabbi Moshe Wilhelm, Rabbi Motti Wilhelm, and Rabbi Chayim Mishulovim have been devoutly servicing the Chabad house for 36 years with sincere dedication, and are now looking to rebuild this makom kadosh from its ruins.
As the investigation of these fires moves forward, it is becoming clear that this fire was human caused. The chances of this being an arson act is highly probable because after the first fire, the electric and gas were shut off by the electric and gas companies so it is unlikely that the fires started on their own. The motives and intent behind the act, and the origins of the first fire, are currently being investigated in two separate investigations.
In addition to daily minyanim and Torah learning, the Chabad center also houses the Everything Jewish Resource Center where all of the Jewish residents of Oregon, including other communities in that region, buy their teifilin, mezuzus, and take care of all of their Judaica needs. Unfortunately, 8 pairs of tefillin and 60 mezuzus got destroyed by the fire.
The shluchim have committed themselves to a life of self-sacrifice by keeping the flame of Yiddishkeit alive in the most remote areas, where it is not easy living the life of a frum Jew. They learn by example from Avraham avinu to go great lengths to spread the knowledge of Hakadosh Baruch Hu to the world while displaying friendliness, affections to every Jew, tolerance, utter devotion, and selfless dedication.
The Chabad house must move forward from this tragedy and continue their holy work. Please be compassionate to their cause and donate generously so that they could continue their work to be an ohr laamim, a light upon the nations.