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Tradition

Tradition

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Tradition

Copyright Rabbi Eli Hecht
No part of these arcticles may be used or reproduced in any form without written permission from the copyright holder, except for brief quotations in reviews.

 

Rabbi Schneersohn was born in Russia in 1880 and was commonly known as the Lubavitcher Rebbe. At the outbreak of World War II on March 19, 1940 he escaped to America on the last passenger ship, SS. Drottinig Holm. At the time of his arrival he was welcomed by thousands of followers and representatives of religious organizations as well as the civil authorities in the Department of State in Washington. This was not his first visit to the United States. In 1929 the Lubavitcher Rebbe visited the United States. During that visit he was received by President Hoover at the White House. The Rebbe represented Russian Jewry and was their main spokesman.

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(Printed in the Press Telegram 11.24.96, the New York Times 11.23.98, Shalom L.A. 11.23.01, and the Jewish Journal 11.23.01)
I was born into a modern American religious family on my father's side. I was especially proud to be a fourth-generation American Jew. I played a great game of baseball, enjoyed reading the Sunday funnies and celebrated American holidays.
(Printed in the Press Telegram 8.30.98)
At the end of 1971 I moved across country from Brooklyn to Lomita, an area where few Jews lived. I was sent by the Chassidic leader, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, to establish a Chassidic Jewish community for the South Bay. Being Chassidic means our family customs are different, as are our lifestyles. On the Sabbath the married men wear a long jacket called a kapota, which looks like a Prince Albert tuxedo, and distinct black fedoras. We don't work on the Sabbath, and basically keep the many other customs of Orthodox Jews.
(Printed in the Press Telegram 9.26.92)
As founder of a Jewish day-care center and day school for the past 18 years I have been told, "Sorry we don't have the money for day schools" or "I give money where it's needed more." It seems that the education of children is not high up on the list of priorities.
(Printed in the Press Telegram 8.97 & Shalom L.A. 8.16.02)
Gladstone was a hard working salesman who seemed never to be able to meet his commitments. After paying one bill he ended up finding other bills. Every door opened other doors and his life was a maze. The harder he worked the less money he earned. After living this way for 30 years he told his wife, Mary, that he was going to try one more time to become a millionaire.
An old reform rabbi had a horrible nightmare: A holy tribunal had put God on trial, found Him guilty, and sentenced Him to death. The rabbi cried in his sleep, "God is dead!" "Harvey!" his wife yelled, "Wake up! Why are you so upset?" "I dreamed that God was dead!" Thinking for a moment she said, "As a little girl my grandmother told me that you dream at night about the things you think about by day."
On Sunday, June 12, 1994 I participated in the most inspiring and emotional funeral I have ever witnessed. The world's greatest Chassidic leader of our time, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was laid to rest at the old Montifore
Once, during the school year, Rebbe told us to pray for the Pope. That night, the Vatican would be choosing a new Pope. The old one, Pope Pius XII, had died. I asked, “Rebbe, why should Jews pray for the Pope?” He told me that the last one was good for the Jews and who knows what the new one will be like. So, he thought it right to pray for the Pope. I wasn't sure if he was really serious or kidding but pray we did.

(Printed in the Press Telegram 7.21.96)
One way to present true friendship is with the Latin saying, Amicus Certus re incerta cernitur (from Ennius). A sure friend is made known when one is in difficulty.
(Printed in the Daily Breeze 3.4.96)
Recently world chess champion Gary Kasparov participated in an unprecedented game of chess. It was "Super Computer Deep Blue," created by an outstanding team of IBM scientists, challenging Kasparov to a game of chess. The IBM team that programmed Deep Blue were so sure of winning that they picked Kasparov (who had vowed never to lose to a computer in classical chess) to be contested, thinking that they would prove their point. Man vs. machine the greatest of all battles with the computer winning.
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