Our Friend, the Grand Rebbe

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Our Friend, the Grand Rebbe

New York City councilman James E. Davis, rest in peace, founded the non-profit organization, Love Yourself, Stop the Violence, dedicated to halting inner city gun crime and drug abuse. His brother, Geoffrey Davis, retells the original inspiration behind his brother’s life work. (late-1970’s)
Violence, Lubavitcher Rebbe
Our Friend, the Grand Rebbe
Disc 111, Program 443

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Anonymous california March 11, 2013

to anonymous in washington and others My heart goes out to your daughter and to all who felt the pain of being shunned, Yet she must let that experience elevate her in continuing to connect with her heritage. That is her rightful inheritance, given to her by HaShem. Don't let that precious gift be taken away from her by those who should know better but don't. I pray that she and others will find their rightful place within their jewish inheritance. Reply

Marty Denver March 10, 2013

To the mother who is a anusim Your daughter's experience is heartbreaking. I'm reminded of an old movie about the segregated South, "The Color Purple." In one scene a group of black women are talking. One tells how she tried to enter a white church but was not allowed. So she said she asked G-d, "Why don't you make them let me in?" And she said G-d answered, "I've been trying to get into that church for the past 100 years and they won't let Me in either."
Whatever your daughter's spiritual journey, I hope she finds love, happiness and peace.
What has your personal experience been? Reply

Kayo Kaneko Tokyo March 10, 2013

wonderful, wonderful story Todah rabah Mr. Davis. Oh, it is such a nice story about the Rebbe. I am sure that your brother has been seeing the Rebbe in the Heaven above. Reply

Anonymous Washington March 9, 2013

Someone posted that U.S. Jews have become a "cliquey bunch, it's so sad, but true. We are descendants of Anusim from Latin America. When I discovered my family was Jewish Sephardic from both parents, I chose to return to our Jewish roots. My daughter was in college and wanted very much to connect with her Jewish roots also, and decided to attend Chabad on her campus, but became very discouraged and stopped attending because the other Jewish students who attended shunned and excluded her from their "cliques".
As her mother, it hurt me to see her hurt from this experience. The outcome was, she stopped seeking to connect with her heritage. Reply

Sholum Ben Ruvan holmdel March 8, 2013

The world of shadows We live in a world of shadows, that is, where G_d's light is blocked and the true reality does not come through, most people can not distinguish between the darkness of the "shadow" world and the light of the true world. What G_d wants of us is to see the light from the darkness, the reality from the illusion of shadows, and then to help others come from under the shadows. Reply

Russell Grayson Palm Beach Gardens March 8, 2013

Dear Anonymous in Florida: Hello again-- You may feel free to contact me any time that you'd like to via the editors.

I very much look forward to meeting you when you join us in Abacoa. I'll give you driving directions when we connect. Have a beautiful Pesach...may we all come further out of our own Mitzrayim this year--and EVERY year.

And please...feel free to call me Russ. Mr. Grayson is a 90-year-old Jewish man in Miami. LOL...

Anonymous Carmel March 7, 2013

From Inspired It is truly refreshing to read all of the positive comments. In recent years, I have felt more included and feel as if my children will have an easier time than I did. Although, there are still some cold shoulders and discriminatory stares...it is getting better. When someone says that I do not have a Jewish name; I explain that my father was not Jewish and since my parents were married I have his name. I explain it with love and not defensiveness. I teach my children to not walk around expecting discrimination but when it happens to use it as a teachable moment. Reply

Sharon Broomall March 7, 2013

Dear Inspired You are not alone. There are many of us of Jewish and African ancestry. I too have felt their is no awareness of us. I hold on to Torah to light my path. My prayer is, Synagogues would become aware we are out here and would like to worship HaShem with other members of the Tribe.

Zusel ben Shlomo March 7, 2013

Dear Anonomous - Florida and Indiana. Not all Jews understand what Judaism stands for. Kol Yisrael chaverim, means that all Jews are comrades. We do not need to all look or think alike, but we must never disrespect one another.
I am glad to say that I am privileged to belong to an Orthodox congregation that includes women of color with full acceptance (subject to halachic issues of course). The Talmud teaches that it is forbidden to ever even raise the topic of a persons life before they chose to become Jewish unless they bring it up.

As Mr. Davis points out, Judaism requires that a person be a good person, no matter how they choose to acknowledge the Divine. Reply

Anonymous Georgia March 6, 2013

Thank you for sharing this! Quietly and without fanfare the sanctifying light of Torah is beginning to glow in the hearts and minds of people with African ancestry worldwide. Daily this site blesses my family as we strive to worship HaShem in spirit and truth. Reply

Anonymous Brooklyn, NY March 6, 2013

Dear "I am inspired" and "Anonymous" It pained me to read of the misconceptions and lack of acceptance you wrote about. As an observant Jew and a person who believes in accepting people for who they are (not external factors like ethnicity, country of origin, and--unfortunately--whether or not we grew up in religious homes), I find no reason for such treatment. In more than one book review I have written in my professional role, I have decried such attitudes. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Reply

Anonymous Florida March 6, 2013

Dear Mr. Grayson,

Thank you for your loving consideration. I will very much look forward to visiting Abacoa in the near future -- after Pesach. Wishing you and your family a healthy Chag Pesach Sameach. Reply

Russell Grayson Palm Beach Gardens, FL March 6, 2013

Dear Anonymous in Florida-- I am so sorry that you have been slighted and ostracized the way you explain. I would recommend that you find a local Chabad with some more enlightened and accepting folks in it--there are quite a few that I've discovered.

Jews--quite unjustifiably--in the US have evolved in some areas into a very cliquey bunch--determined to reduce our yet-tiny group of co-religionists by ridiculously self-created standards based upon their own insecurities. This is THEIR defect NOT yours. Welcome sister. May you find strength in the love of Hashem--who cherishes a convert so much more than someone who inherits their religion and merely goes through the motions. If you're anywhere near Jupiter, come to our Chabad iJewish Center of Jupiter, in Abacoa. You'll find people there more accepting and warm. Let me know if you'd like to get in touch. Reply

Chayah California March 5, 2013

Dear "I am inspired". You are a Jew as much as I am a Jew (from Hungary) and you do belong in the Jewish community. Jews are Jews because of the matriarchal lineage. (I never did understand conversion, since being Jewish has to do with a blood line). The people who told you that the Jewish people do not accept you were wrong. I hope that you found that out through the course of your life. Reply

Anonymous March 5, 2013


I too enjoy this footage very much. I too am a black woman but I was born a non- Jew. Yet I always had more of a connection to Judaism than anything else. I honor Abraham and Sarah as my parents and I honor every Jew as my brother and sister and I honor Israel as my homeland. Thank you again for this wonderful footage. Reply

Anonymous Florida March 5, 2013

This article is comforting to me as a Black female who chose to practice Judaism by becoming a convert. However, I have been ostracized within the Jewish community. and feel like an outsider. Thank you for this encouraging message. Reply

Anonymous Carmel, Indiana March 3, 2013

I am inspired! Hello,

Thank you for posting this! I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and always felt as if I did not belong anywhere. I am a Jewish woman who is Black. My mother and generations before her were Jewish. My mother married a Haitian Cuban Black man who was a loving father. He never let us forget who we were and never gave my mother problems to teach us about Judaism. But it was not the same! He told us to ignore the looks and whatever we did- to do it for G_D. I respect and appreciate Chabad.org for always providing spiritual resources to help me raise my seven children to be observant, practicing Jews. Hearing about this wonderful man, the Grand Rebbe demonstrate the love and truth of Judaism has giving my strength. I was told by Black people all my life that the Jewish people did not accept me, but my mother told me that G_D made me Jewish and that is all the accepting I needed.

Thank you! Reply

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