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Among the chassidim of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (the “Tzemach Tzedek,” 1789–1866) was a businessman whose dealings took him to the business centers of the large cities of Russia, as well as to several foreign capitals. As time went by, he became increasingly uncomfortable in these environments with his long black coat and chassidic hat. Gradually, he adopted a more secular mode of dress on his business trips. Of course, he continued to travel to his Rebbe in traditional chassidic garb.

Then, one day he appeared in Lubavitch in his businessman’s attire. “Rebbe,” he announced, “I’ve decided to put an end to my hypocritical behavior. This is how I dress on all my travels—so why delude myself and others with my chassidic clothes?”

Reb Yankel,” said the Rebbe. “Do you think that I was not aware that you dress differently in Leipzig and Paris than you do in Lubavitch? But I thought that here you showed us your true self, and there you were the hypocrite . . .”

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P. W. Mickey Amarillo, Texas via February 11, 2011

"hypcorisy" posted 2-10-2011 I find this piece very illuminating. I am glad I read it. Thank you very much! Reply

Anonymous Amsterdam, the Netherlands January 5, 2005

parsha Tetzave Being a reverend who frequently preaches in a (christian) community where the weekly Tora readings are being explained with respect to their Jewish origin and meaning, I find a lot of inspiration in the stories and backgrounds I find on your website.
Thanks a lot, Reply

The life and times of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (1789-1866)
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