New York City Mayor Eric Adams visited the Ohel—the Queens resting place of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—on Sunday, July 3, to mark the 28th anniversary of the Rebbe’s passing. Adams was accompanied by Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan and thousands of people from around the world who were visiting the Ohel over the weekend to mark 3 Tammuz, the date on the Jewish calendar corresponding this year to July 2.

Adams noted that this was not his first time praying at the Rebbe’s Ohel. “I was here when I was running for office during a very difficult moment, I came here to ask for a blessing. … When we feel difficult times, we go to those spiritual leaders to ask for blessings, it is a connection between the natural and the spiritual,” he said.

“For many years, the wisdom and the leadership of the Rebbe was recognized by world leaders,” Ambassador Erdan said at the Ohel, “and the presence, the fact that Mayor Adams is here is the continuation of the legacy of the Rebbe.” Erdan noted the impact of the Rebbe’s legacy, which is strongly felt in Israel; the Rebbe frequently met with high-profile political leaders and military figures and was often sought for his guidance by the Israeli government.

“We all know that the Rebbe’s legacy was to make the world a better place, and today we could see around the world thousands of his emissaries, of the Chabad movement, and that is exactly what they are doing: going everywhere and bringing people closer to Judaism,” Erdan said, adding that this was not his first time at the Rebbe’s Ohel.

The leaders of New York City long sought the counsel and advice of the Rebbe, with every mayor of New York beginning with Robert F. Wagner making the trek out to the Rebbe’s office at 770 Eastern Parkway in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. Since the Rebbe’s passing in 1994, they’ve continued finding solace at the Rebbe’s resting place. Adams, who represented Crown Heights in the New York State Senate, is particularly familiar with the Chabad-Lubavitch community.

“The Grand Rebbe comes in the spirit of those great spiritual leaders that we are blessed with throughout our lives,” the mayor said, adding how significant it is for him to be able to stop at “the sites of all those great men and women throughout our history who have blessed us with their presence.”

Adams also visited the resting places of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, the Rebbe's wife, and Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson, the Rebbe's mother. Afterward, he headed to the grave of Ari Halberstam, who was killed by a terrorist on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1994.

“It doesn’t matter what faith you are—believing in the power of blessing is not connected to any particular group, it’s connected to the greatest race alive, the human race,” said the mayor.

Indeed, New York’s mayors of all backgrounds met with the Rebbe and sought out his guidance during good times and rougher times. During the Crown Heights Riots of 1991, Mayor David Dinkins went to see the Rebbe, his fourth such visit. “I am confident that with the good people of all of our communities—of both sides—we will come together to do what is necessary to protect everyone,” Dinkins told the Rebbe. The Rebbe however, didn’t see “both sides” in New York. “We should not forget that [we are] one side, one people, united by the management of New York City,” the Rebbe responded.

When in 1968 Mayor John V. Lindsay came to discuss city-wide crime and policing issues with the Rebbe, he noted that the security of Crown Heights was key for all of Brooklyn. The Rebbe agreed, taking it farther: “It is a test case,” the Rebbe advised Lindsay. “Not only for New York, it will be a test case for the United States, for many cities and maybe the world in general.”

Adams has noted this before: Speaking the first night of Chanukah from atop a cherry picker at the lighting of the world’s largest menorah at the corner of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, then New York City Mayor-elect declared that “we know what the Rebbe did for all of us.” The Rebbe, Adams continued, spearheaded the opening of “Chabad Houses ... to spread the importance of living in unity, so I’m proud to be here and participate in this moment as we bring our city back together.”