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Appreciations

Personal Reflections on the Rebbe and his Leadership

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The Tahaluchah Experience
It’s Yom Tov, and scores of Chabad chassidim are leaving the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn on foot—some walking as far as Queens and Upper Manhattan! No, it’s not some fitness craze. It’s Tahaluchah.
A Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Sermon 2014
Once, while we were walking along the seashore, amidst that glorious scenic setting, my father showed me a bench nestled in the brambles, between the sea and the forest.
A Tribute to the Lubavitcher Rebbe twenty years after his passing
Who was this man? And what made him probably the most influential rabbi in modern history and perhaps in much more than modern history?
The Lubavitcher Rebbe's Modus Operandi
The Rebbe believed to his core in the value of the individual. He never lost sight of each tree in the forest.
I have been reading up on the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson and he was obviously a great man. But what made him a Rebbe and not a regular rabbi?
Changing the World One Person at a Time
I envision Jethro encountering a long, unkempt, and slow-moving line winding its way through cactus and brush to the open flaps of Moses’ tent where he offered counsel and blessing...
There is a Yiddish word which has no precise English translation. The word is fargin. It translates loosely as “rejoicing in another’s joy.” For whatever reason, people generally find it easier to commiserate with others when they suffer loss, than to rejoice with them in their good fortune...
One might have imagined that the Rebbe's standards for, and expectations from, his own followers might have declined, since his outreach extended to people entirely unaffiliated with Judaism.
Who Sat Shiva for the Rebbe?
The Rebbe saw every Jew as family, as having the same background, that of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs, and, therefore, as having the same potential for a full Jewish life.
Is success all about the bottom line?
We all seek quick success. We pursue individuals whom we deem "successful." Likewise, we run from our failures and are embarrassed to admit them.
Have You Had Your Daily Dose of Empathy?
Over fifty years ago, my parents were sent by the Rebbe to serve as his emissaries here, in Toronto, Canada. My mother had a hard time adjusting to her new role in the community. She spoke candidly with the Rebbe about the hurdles of adjusting to her new life.The Rebbe would listen, full of compassion...
When we, G-d forbid, hear that something horrible befell another individual, do we feel their pain? Or do we simply move on with life?
It was merely the expectation that I would see the Rebbe again. Or, to be more precise, that he would see me . . .
How does one measure greatness? In the case of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the answer is easily obtained. I know of no one who has left the Rebbe, even after a moment of yehidut (one-on-one meeting), without being deeply affected, if not changed, by their encounter...
Of course, you could always paint pictures on the walls. Perhaps even illuminate them from behind. Or use mirrors, even a battery of television screens. But only a tzaddik can be your window
On being a Rebbe
The suicidal boy informed the Rebbe of his plans. The Rebbe listened, and tears began to course down his cheeks...
A lifeless staff blossoms, and a young boy astounds his listeners with a profound mystical response -- both presumably a result of being touched by holiness. What do we do when we are denied such an opportunity?