Many thanks to you and your wife for Friday night dinner. We had a great time. I just had one question. I noticed you have a huge picture of your Rebbe, Rabbi Schneerson, on the wall. I don’t mean to be rude, but is this type of reverence for a human being appropriate?


I do revere the Rebbe, but not because he was superhuman. On the contrary.

Here was a man that received up to one thousand letters a day and answered them all; advised concerned parents of unwell children and singles searching for life partners with the same love and attention as he advised presidents and prime ministers on world affairs; had the vision to set up a web of institutions around the globe in order to rebuild Judaism after the war; promoted values and morals for the non-Jewish world; was as comfortable in the sciences as he was in Torah wisdom, and found G‑d in both; healed the sick with his blessings, and answered people’s questions before they even asked them; took the responsibility of the world on his shoulders, but had time for every individual.

These are just a sample of his qualities. But above all this, why I revere him was because he was human. For a superhuman to achieve all the above is no big deal. They don’t have to work hard to become heroes. But for a human being of flesh and blood, it is nothing short of amazing.

That’s why I have a picture of the Rebbe on my wall. It always reminds me of what a human can achieve, and that I can always do more to better the world.

I saw the Rebbe only once. But it is due to his influence that I am today an active and proud Jew. His teachings inspired me to become a rabbi—otherwise, who knows? I might have been a B-grade trapeze artist or a struggling plumber’s assistant. The very fact that I am writing these words and you are reading them is thanks to the Rebbe’s vision.

From the Rebbe’s teachings I have learned what G‑d is. From his life I have learnt what humans can be.