My first contact with Chabad was through Rabbi Kazen. On 20 July 1996, my youngest son, of blessed memory, passed away. I was on assignment in Kansas one hundred and fifty miles from the closest Jewish community. Having made arrangements to have my son interned in Phoenix, Arizona, I was looking for advise.

The search engines and internet was not as refined as they are now, but I was led to Chabad's web site. I emailed "ask the rabbi" that night for advice in my situation. I did not expect a rapid reply, but in the early morning as I prepared to head west I checked my email. There it was a ray of hope, a friendly voice advising and consoling. After leaving Phoenix I again contacted YY and had several conversations, my spirit was lifted.

When I was later assigned to Arizona, I joined the Scottsdale synagogue, later I helped start the Chandler synagogue, and later the West Valley Chabad house.

YY will always be in my memory.

Chaim Boehlje

Back when the internet was relatively unknown, YY was very excited to find out how enthusiastic I was about and its future (few saw this then!)... He drove out to Morristown, New Jersey, to visit me and we spent a wonderful hour together sharing visions then of what has now become reality.

To say that he was a visionary is right on the mark... and his most important vision was one shared by all of us and by all of humanity – each in his own unique way – a vision that surely will become reality imminently... the coming of Moshiach and the complete redemption!

Mr. & Mrs. Albie Rosenhaus

On a personal note, I was the recipient of his kindness on the morning of October 19, 1987. I was visiting 770, from South Africa, for the month of Tishrei as a young student and the Rebbe would attend the Torah reading service on Mondays and Thursdays.

A lottery would take place at 7 a.m. to determine who would have the privilege of providing the Rebbe with a Chumash to use during the Torah reading. I was determined to win the lottery and would show up every time, only to be disappointed when my name was not called as the lucky winner.

YY noticed this.

On one autumn day YY entered the lottery and won. Instead of taking the honor and privilege for himself, he happily gave it to me. I treasure the holy Chumash which the Rebbe used and am eternally grateful to YY for the opportunity to have it on my bookshelf. Just another way he taught us to put others before yourself.

Thank you, YY.

Rabbi Yochonon Goldman, Philadelphia, PA

About 17 years ago I was a student in Lubavitcher Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway and I remember YY taking me (and some other students) in to the office where he showed us what he was doing on the internet and telling us that this was future of communication! Of course we had no clue what he talking about and never imagined that he really did understand exactly what was going to happen.

Rabbi Chanoch Kaplan

We had a long conversation about twelve years ago, and he was always after me to get on the web. I eventually took and the rest is history! People now visit Crown Heights, Brooklyn, from 45 countries and tours are daily... The web is a major part of our success.

He was always smiling, encouraging and thinking of new possibilities. I miss him.

Beryl Epstein

Many people are unaware that YY played an important role in another award winning website as well as, namely, the official website of the City of New York.

Being unable to support his family, Kazen reluctantly approached me—then a Deputy Commissioner in the New York City IT Department, responsible, among other things, for maintaining the City's new website platform.

I introduced Kazen to my Assistant Commissioner, who was extremely impressed by and hired Kazen. Kazen was put in charge of organizing the overwhelming amount of content on the City's site and ensuring that the constantly refreshed material was properly managed.

Joseph Rubenfeld

My introduction to YY is perhaps most memorable. It was in the early 1990's, and also the early days of Chabad in Cyberspace, that I came across the website. So impressed was I with the website that I wrote in to the "info" email address, indicating that I was from South Africa and expressing thanks for what was being done in spreading Judaism.

I received a reply from Rabbi Kazen acknowledging the thanks and then asking if I knew his dear brother-in-law and his sister, namely Rabbi Yossy Goldman and his Rebbetzin, Rochel Goldman. Hurriedly I wrote back replying that not only did I know them, but that I pray at their synagogue and more so, I have the great privilege of being able to participate in classes given by Rabbi Goldman as well as having had the opportunity of one-on-one study with members of the family. So began a special close relationship with YY.

It is no coincidence that the yahrtzeit (his date of passing) is in Kislev—the month of the start of Chanukah. Rabbi Kazen spread a tremendous amount of light. As a personal beneficiary of this light I can attest to its strength and purity—the purity of the singular purpose to help another Jew develop their own personal relationship with G‑d.

But rather then try to describe the greatness of Rabbi Kazen, his profound legacy can rather be better understood by taking note of the fact that from the remote corners of a Russia once closed to the world, to the highlands of Scotland, to the corners of Africa and all across America, Jewish hearts and souls had their own flames burning brighter because of personal contact with a man who was not merely replying to thousands of emails, but who tried to, and succeeded in, connecting with a message from his own heart and soul.

There is of course much more that could be said, but I think that the huge success of, and that it continues to grow and positively influence Jews, speaks every day and every minute about the greatness of a very special Jew, fondly known as YY.

May his soul experience "an aliyah," and may we do our bit in giving honour to his memory by continuing his legacy and spreading our own light. Through this may all darkness be banished forever as we experience the great light of the menorah in the third Holy Temple, and may we all be united and reunited with Moshiach and the resurrection of the dead, speedily and in our days.

Hilton Fischer, South Africa.

He reached out to me... 24/6. I had the pleasure of meeting him! On a visit to 770 Eastern Parkway, he literally walked up to me in the Synagogue and said, "Hello, Lou, it's me, Rabbi Kazen, finally we meet!"

He reached out when others didn't. His memory and legacy will live on forever... A tzaddik in his own way!

Louis Philip Rotkowitz, MD