Tuesday Inspiration

by Chossid August. 17, 2010 9214 views

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, this century’s most dominant Jewish figure, is clearly the one individual singularly responsible for stirring and awakening the conscience and spirit of post-holocaust world Jewry.

Often described as the most phenomenal Jewish personality of our time, “the Rebbe,” as he is reverently referred to by millions of followers and admirers around the world, radiates hope, motivation and encouragement in an era rent with confusion and despair.

The Rebbe is 7th in the lineage of Lubavitch leaders, which began in the 18th century with Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, author of the basic work of Chabad philosophy - Tanya, and the Code of Jewish Law.

The Rebbe was born in Nikolaev, Russia, on the 11th day of Nissan, 1902, to Rabbi Levi Yitzchak and Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson. The Rebbe’s father was a renowned Kabbalist and Talmudic scholar. The Rebbe’s mother was a pious, aristocratic woman from a prestigious rabbinic family.

From early childhood the Rebbe displayed a prodigious mental acuity and soon had to leave cheder because he was far ahead of his classmates. His father engaged private tutors for him and, after that, taught him himself. By the time he reached his Bar Mitzvah, at 13, the Rebbe was a Torah prodigy.

The Rebbe met the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, in 1923, in Rostov, Russia. In December, 1928 the Rebbe married Rebbetzin Chaya Moussia, 2nd daughter of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak. The Rebbetzin, well educated and accomplished in her own right, is known throughout the Jewish world for her exceptional erudition, leadership and compassion, yet unpretentious and humble demeanor.

On June 23, 1941, the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin arrived in the U.S., having miraculously escaped the Nazi onslaught. The Rebbe's father-in-law appointed him to head Chabad’s new educational, social service, outreach and publication organizations.

After the passing of the sixth Rebbe, in 1950, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson ascended to the leadership of the flourishing movement.

Motivated by a profound love for the Jewish people, the Rebbe launched an unprecedented program to bring Judaism to every individual Jew, wherever he or she may be. Inspired by the Biblical mandate: “And you shall spread forth to the West and to the East and to the North and to the South” (Genesis 28:14), the Rebbe established a corps of shluchim (emissaries) and charged them with establishing Chabad-Lubavitch centers in every corner of the world. These dedicated men and women reflect the commitment of Lubavitch to the entire Jewish people. It is no wonder that, for many communities throughout the world, Chabad-Lubavitch, with its vast array of educational and social service programming, has become the central address for all matters Jewish.

Throughout his years of leadership of Chabad Lubavitch, the Rebbe established Chassidism – the study and practice of the Torah’s teachings of kindness – not as one of the limbs, but as the heart and life of Judaism, with its emphasis on love for one’s fellow, and serving G-d with joy.

During more than four decades of inspired leadership the Rebbe made Lubavitch the world’s largest Jewish outreach organization.

Today, some 3,300 Chabad-Lubavitch institutions span more than fifty-five countries on six continents. These educational and social-service institutions serve a variety of functions for the entire spectrum of Jews, regardless of affiliation or background. Programs geared to humanitarian endeavors reach out beyond the Jewish community, to all people.

In Israel, the “Chabadnikim” are particularly endeared to all. Their programs reach all segments of the community, and they enjoy the respect of the population, regardless of affiliation. From the soldier stationed on the front to the farmer on the kibbutz, feelings of veneration and respect for the Rebbe run deep, as all have benefited in some way from his concern.

Former Soviet Republic: It was in Russia, specifically from the small Belarus town of Lubavitch (literally ‘city of love’) that Chabad Lubavitch was born more than 200 years ago. A history of heroic, clandestine efforts by Lubavitch kept Judaism alive under the most oppressive and excruciating circumstances conceivable, before and especially after the Bolshevik revolution and during the Communist regime.

When the Soviet Union crumbled, Lubavitch emerged from the underground and the work continues publicly unabated. The Rebbe’s emissaries have established some 200 institutions for Jewish learning and humanitarian aid throughout the FSU. (We have the privilege of being one of those.)

People of the Book – Under the Rebbe’s guidance, Chabad publishes and distributes millions of books, pamphlets, cassettes, DVD’s and educational materials in Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic, Farsi, Dutch, Swedish and German. The Rebbe himself is author to over 400 volumes of Torah understandings, letters, responsa and talks.

The Rebbe was often heard saying that “we dare not rest until every Jewish child receives a proper Jewish education.” The American Jewish day-school system, initiated and pioneered by Lubavitch in the 1940’s, has displaced across a wide spectrum the once-prevalent ideology that Jewish education was a dutiful appendage to the real business of acquiring a secular education. Jewish day schools have since become accepted and desirable even to those who once opposed them. This, as well as the outreach programs of Chabad-Lubavitch, have served as a guide for others to emulate.

Innovative and creative programs such as Chabad day schools and summer camps for unaffiliated children, holiday and Moshiach awareness campaigns, Chabad Houses on college campuses, and the famous Mitzvah Mobiles, (my husband created the first one,) have raised the awareness of Jewish life and Jewish practice among millions of Jews, motivating them to explore and to examine their identity.

Concern For All – Fountain of Blessings – For many years, every Sunday morning, huge crowds of men, women and children, gathered at Lubavitch Headquarters and patiently awaited their turn to meet the Rebbe face-to-face to receive his blessing. The Rebbe gave each individual a crisp, new dollar bill to be given to charity, often explaining that the most important thing two people could do when they meet is to help a third person. This extraordinary custom attracted people from all walks of life, many of whom traveled thousands of miles just for this momentary, yet unforgettable encounter.

“From the time that I was a child attending cheder, and even before, the vision of the future Redemption began to take form in my imagination – the Redemption of the Jewish People from their final Exile, a redemption of such magnitude and grandeur through which the purpose of the suffering, the harsh decrees and annihilations of Exile will be understood…” (from a letter written by the Rebbe on his 54th birthday in 1956; free translation)

Reciprocating Love – A young man who became close to a group of Lubavitcher yeshiva students in France was quite taken with the Chabad-Chassidic way of life and its teachings of warmth and spirituality, with one exception. He was uncomfortable with the extreme reverence the Chassidim have for the Rebbe. He shared his feelings with his friends and they proposed that he travel to New York and pose his concerns to the Rebbe himself. “Why is it that the Chassidim literally venerate you?” he asked. “I love every Jew débordement” (literally, overflowing, in French), the Rebbe answered. “The love the Chassidim have for me is simply a reflection of my love for them.”

But at the core of all these accomplishments is the Rebbe’s main objective – to inspire all of us to revere and love G-d, His people, His creations, and to devote our lives, individually and communally, to Torah and the fulfillment of G-d’s will.

The Rebbe’s brilliant insight into the human experience and world events, his genuine compassion for others, his strong leadership and his profound, endless flow of genius, and his inspiring a generation to earn and longingly anticipate Moshiach’s arrival, made him a legend in his lifetime, and won him the admiration, respect and awe of all who’ve come to know him.

But what we know best is what the Rebbe himself has told us in no uncertain terms, that the role of our generation is to actually bring about the Torah-promised Redemption and to prepare ourselves and the entire world for it.

The Imminent Arrival of Moshiach

One objective pervades it all. One goal is at the forefront of a century of life and achievement: a world devoid of hate and greed, a world free of suffering and strife, a world suffused with the wisdom and goodness of its Creator. No less.

In virtually every talk the Rebbe gave, every letter he wrote and every action he initiated, the theme, the sign-off and the objective was: the coming of Moshiach, the attainment of the Redemption.

The idea of a universal redemption, heralded by a global leader called Moshiach (“the anointed”) is a basic tenet of the Jewish faith. The Jew believes that the world which G-d created possesses the potential to fully reflect the infinite goodness and perfection of its Creator. And the Jew believes that the realization of this goal is the very purpose to which his or her soul has been invested within a physical body and life.

But perhaps no leader in history emphasized the urgency and immediacy of Moshiach as did the Rebbe. In this, the Rebbe was echoing the great Jewish sage Maimonides, who more than 800 years ago had said: a single deed, a single word, even a single thought, has the power to tip the scales and bring redemption to the world.

The Rebbe believes that if we open our eyes to this reality, we can bring redemption to the world. Today. In the words of the Rebbe, “We want Moshiach NOW!” “Moshiach is now ready to come…all we have to do on our part is to add in deeds of goodness and kindness” and “The time for your redemption has arrived!”

May the Rebbe’s prophecy of “Moshiach Now” be fulfilled immediately!

HERE IS A LINK [7for770.com] to the 7 Noahide Laws for all humanity.

Bloggers who may be participating can be located on this list. (The link is not necessarily to their Tuesday Inspiration post. Look for it on today's date.)

CathyB [photoblog.com]
Chossid [photoblog.com]
365DandFeby [photoblog.com]
Djnana [photoblog.com]
Florlavag [photoblog.com]
Girafferacing [photoblog.com]
GKorts [photoblog.com]
Imdanchan [photoblog.com]
Jan03 [photoblog.com]
Jarvo [photoblog.com]
JustGood [photoblog.com]
KellyBee322 [photoblog.com]
Latecomer [photoblog.com]
LevonTheLights [photoblog.com]
lgnelson [photoblog.com]
lisaliu [photoblog.com]
Lynda [photoblog.com]
Matteahmb [photoblog.com]
MoMac [photoblog.com]
Mountainflower [photoblog.com]
Mystic1 [photoblog.com]
Nellinka [photoblog.com]
Passerine [photoblog.com]
Quiksilver1781 [photoblog.com]
Ratcher [photoblog.com]
Revenant [photoblog.com]
Ryana [photoblog.com]
Snowpie [photoblog.com]
Tennischick [photoblog.com]
TheBronzeBow [photoblog.com]
TracySeeger [photoblog.com]
Wasichseh [photoblog.com]
Yellodog [photoblog.com]
Carmencorina [photoblog.com]
Caroleagle [photoblog.com]

Today's T.I. may enlighten you as to why my husband and I, together with thousands of others have given up “normal,” comfortable lives, near our families, and moved to the ends of the earth, in order to help others.

Many thanks to Heather (Matteahmb) for suggesting this theme. At the bottom of the post is a list of others who may be participating.

This is a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe as a young boy, shortly before his 3rd birthday, in “Russia” (today's Ukraine.) We have a custom not to cut a young boy's hair till his 3rd birthday, which is why his hair is long.

The Rebbe in Paris, after escaping from Nazi Europe, and before he was able to enter America.

President Reagan, signing the proclamation of Education Day USA, in honor of the Rebbe, and his contribution to education.

My oldest daughter, Elka, receiving a dollar for charity, together with a blessing, from the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

People from every walk of life came to the Rebbe for advice and blessings. Once, when my husband was a student, he and the other students noticed a huge limousine pull up in front of 770 Eastern Parkway, Chabad headquarters, and a sheik went into “770” from the limousine. It was a cousin of the King of Morocco. He and his wife had been childless for many years. Upon the advise of his cousin, he'd asked the Rebbe for a blessing for children, and now after the birth, he had come to thank the Rebbe personally.

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There are 18 comments , add yours!
Leena Kauppinen 9 years, 9 months ago

Huge story of one great person!

Sorry, but I have been away two months from this blog and I saw your comment just today!
I will publish more photos from our Black Sea journey also from Yalta.
Thank your for your comment!

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Joe 9 years, 9 months ago

Very interesting, thanks for sharing

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Paw Kam 9 years, 9 months ago

Wow, really nice set!

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Oscar 9 years, 9 months ago

Interesting and informative post Leah. Fantastic photos!! :)

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Péter Somogyvári 9 years, 9 months ago

Great post! Well done!

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Ratcher 9 years, 9 months ago

Great post! ;)

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Eiram Marie 9 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for sharing! Very interesting post!

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Farideh_Homam 9 years, 9 months ago

Interesting and great post.

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Becky Brannon 9 years, 9 months ago

Wonderful and interesting post! Love the old photos!

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Finbarr 9 years, 9 months ago

Fantastic post well done!

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Davorka ČEoviä‡ 9 years, 9 months ago

Wonderful shots and good reportage!

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Brenda Nelson 9 years, 9 months ago

Wonderful images and wonderful information - I've learned a great deal today, Leah! This is, indeed, a perfect post for the theme this week.

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Sandra Vermeulen 9 years, 9 months ago

This is a good reportage, Leah.
Thanks for sharing;

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Gerd Korts 9 years, 9 months ago

Obviously the theme means for everyone something else. great post but if I wouldn´t know I couldn´t guess

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Jennye 9 years, 9 months ago

Great post!
but I haven't guessed the theme yet.

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Jumiella 9 years, 9 months ago

Very interesting post. I don't know the Jewish culture and customs. Thanks for sharing.

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Tom Thompson 9 years, 9 months ago

Wonderful shots and good reportage

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
Beth 9 years, 9 months ago

you are a good educator also. thanks for sharing.

9 years, 9 months ago Edited
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