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A Tribute to the Rebbe

Friday, 11 June, 2010 - 1:06 pm

This Monday night, June 14, we will join a worldwide internet broadcast of a talk by the renowned lecturer, Rabbi Yosef Y. Jacobson. The occasion, the 3rd of Tammuz - marking 16 years since the physical passing of the Rebbe. More importantly, however, is the remarkable continuation of the Rebbe's life and life's work, evident in the growth of Chabad around the world over the past 16 years. There is nobody who can more mastrerfully help us appreciate the Rebbe's influence on Judaism in our time than Rabbi Jacobson. For an opportunity to be enthralled and inspired, please join us for the live broadcast at Chabad Metairie on Monday night at 8 PM.

The greatness of a leader such as the Rebbe is seen from varying perspectives. Some are awed by the Rebbe's scholarship and contribution in the area of Torah study. Other's are impressed with the Rebbe's blessings and advice to people in need of help. Still others marvel at the Rebbe's involvement in communal and even global affairs. The overriding factor in all of these, is the Rebbe's ability to relate to each individual person and each individual issue as the most important person or issue at that moment. When the Torah refers to the qualifications of Joshua as the successor of Moses, it describes him as a man who can relate to the spirit of each and every person. The chabad.org team has assmebled a comprehensive website about the Rebbe including many personal recollections of individual interactions that people had with the Rebbe. Take some time over the next few days to browse www.chabadneworleans.com/rebbe to get a sense of the scope of the Rebbe's leadership.

Since that day 16 years ago, hundreds of thousands of people, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, have flocked to the Rebbe's Ohel (resting place) to pray and place the petitions for blessings there. I will have the opportunity within the next few weeks to be there and I will gladly take any letters or petitions for blessing that you wish send with me.

A few days before Pesach, several years ago, I arrived in New York late at night. I decided to pay a visit to Rebbe's Ohel immediately upon my arrival as that day was the Rebbe's birthday (Nissan 11). By the time I got there it was nearly midnight. As I made my way to the Ohel lost in my own thoughts, I looked up and I saw an African American couple, holding a young child, coming out of the Rebbe's Ohel. I noticed that the man wore a necklace that clearly indentified him as a Christian. I nodded to them in greeting and in a soft vioce the man said to me "today is the Rebbe's birthday; we came to pay our respects." Needless to say I was overwhelmed with awe in my renewed realization of how broad the Rebbe's reach was.

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