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Why the Rebbe pictures?

Why the Rebbe pictures?



I have been to Chabad several times. When I have gone to my Chabad rabbi's home, I noticed several pictures of the Rebbe decorating the walls. His eyes follow you all over the place... Why the pictures?


A man once posed this very question to a Chabad rabbi. The rabbi responded, in good Jewish fashion, by asking him a question.

"Do you have mirrors in your home?" asked the rabbi.

"Of course I do," answered the man.

"How many mirrors do you have?"

"Well, I have a big one in the entrance hall, I've got two in my bedroom, in each bathroom there's at least one mirror, the living room has one, and the den's got one too."

"Why do you need so many mirrors?" asked the rabbi.

"What do you mean?" replied the man. "I need to see how I look; I want to make sure I'm presentable."

"If you can relate to the need to see how you look presently," the rabbi responded, "why can't you relate to a person's need to see how s/he can and should look in the future?"

People who interacted with the Rebbe during his lifetime walked away feeling empowered to reach their fullest potential; not to be satisfied with past accomplishments or to be lured into mediocrity. By virtue of his holiness and sensitivity, the Rebbe was able to activate the inner spark in people he met, and inspire them to have an eternal flame burning in their hearts, to grow and grow, then grow some more.

When a Chabad family hangs a picture – or several pictures – of the Rebbe in their home, they are making an effort to invigorate themselves with the Rebbe's message, and instead of seeing how they appear currently and superficially, they want to see their soul's potential and strengthen their resolve to actualize it all.

See also Why the Big Picture of the Rebbe in your Home?

Click here for more about the Rebbe.

Rabbi Moshe Goldman for

Rabbi Moshe Goldman is the Director of Chabad of the Waterloo Region in Waterloo, Ontario. He is also a member of the Ask the Rabbi team.
All names of persons and locations or other identifying features referenced in these questions have been omitted or changed to preserve the anonymity of the questioners.
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Elliot Johnson City, NY via December 26, 2007

Great Answer I think that's a great answer.
I always wondered about that.....

Thank you Rabbi Goldman Reply

Dovid December 20, 2007

Rebbe's Picture Rabbi Levine of Oak Park, CA one time told a similar story. However in his story, the Chabad Rabbi said: "Good question let's go ask the Rebbe" (apparently they lived in NY close enough to go ask). They went there for dollars and she asked the Rebbe, "why do all of your followers have a BIG picture of you on their wall?" The Rebbe said " first of all it doesn't have to be a big picture it can be a small one too. If you want to know why they have my picture on their wall you would have to ask them; however if you ask me, I think because they see how much I love and care about them, they reflect this love and keep my picture on their wall".
Something like putting a picture of loved ones in your house. Reply