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Celebrating Sixty Revolutionary Years

Friday, 14 January, 2011 - 9:54 am

In January of 1950 the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, passed away. After escaping war-torn Europe in 1940, he valiantly re-established Chabad in the US despite being wheelchair bound and in ill health. He founded a network of schools and programs to serve American Jewry and began to send his young Chassidim to serve outlying communities. Upon his passing the Chassidim turned to his younger son-in-law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, to take his place. On the first Yahrtzeit of the Previous Rebbe, Shevat 10, 1951, the Rebbe formally ascended to the leadership of Chabad.

During his inaugural gathering with only several hundred Chassidim present, the Rebbe stated his philosophy regarding the direction in which he would be steering the Chabad movement. He declared that we as Jews must take our inspiration from the conduct of our first father, Avraham. The Torah says that Avraham came to Beersheba and "called there in the name of the L-rd, the Eternal G-d." The Talmud comments, "do not read "he called" but rather "he caused others to call." In other words, Avraham was not content to worship G-d himself, his life's mission was to share this with others as well.

The Rebbe elaborated saying, "from this we learn that one's own "calling the name of Hashem" is incomplete unless one also "causes others to call." He concluded by explaining that this approach would be the final step to put an end to the exile and usher in the era of Redemption.

This became the springboard for the Rebbe's revolution of Chabad Houses and emmissaries around the world. The Rebbe inspired a generation of people by instilling this idea within them - that one's own relationship with Hashem is lacking if they do not do what they can to see that others have a relationship with Hashem as well. This notion that we are at the end of a 3300 year long journey and we are tasked with completing the job, has fired up thousands of Chassidim to dedicate themselves to implementing the Rebbe's vision of a good and G-dly world.  

Tomorrow we mark 60 years since this revolution began. Today there are over 4,000 institutions worldwide serving the cause. Jewish communities in every part of the world have been influenced by the Rebbe's call. Chabad's web network receives millions of clicks each day. Countless individuals have had a positive life transformation as a result.

It is our sincere hope that as we celebrate this monumental milestone, we will finally arrive at the last chapter in the book - the coming of Moshiach and the era of Redemption.  

Locally, we will mark the 10th of Shevat with several events. Chabad Metairie will be having a dinner tonight. Chabad Uptown will be having a Kiddush lunch and farbrengen tomorrow. On Sunday evening at 7 PM we will have a Farbrengen at Chabad uptown during which we will show a video of a Farbrengen with the Rebbe in 1975.

We wish Batya Tavlin a hearty Mazel Tov upon her marriage to Lior Yaish. Special warm wishes to her mother, Mrs. Jane Tavlin. May there be continued joy and happiness.

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