When a Rebbe changed a world

It was not easy to stand for 10-12 hours, smiling at and blessing the person who was standing in front, as it was the first and only one. While there, just behind that man or woman, the was a queue that arrived four blocks further.

Being a leader means giving a special value to each person.

It was not simple to receive hundred and hundred of letters every day and answer to each one as it was written by your best friend.

Being a leader means being able to listen.

It wasn’t usual to send just married couples at the other limit of the world with the only goal to awaken and renew judaism between people who forgot who they are.

Being a leader means to be able to convince people they can really change the world.

Not everybody accepted the idea of putting tfilin around an arm able to bring non kosher food to its mouth and switch a light during shabat. An arm so important as the person to whom it belonged only because it was jew.

Being a leader means to love everybody and not judging anybody.

It was not a common scene to see prime ministers, presidents, generals and scientist all coming to take an advice from the same person. Who usually was not even graduated in the topic he was giving precious advices about.

Being a leader means to be searched for your wisdom and ability to solve impossible problems.

Not everybody is able to pray for the sake and healing of people never seen before. With the same concentration and devotion as a father does for his son.

Being a leader means to care for every single member of the group. More than for you.

Not everybody had the courage to speak and shout about the right of Israel to keep all its lands for itself. And the absolute danger there is in giving a piece of land in change of something our enemies really don’t want. Though international pressure and political wars, Israel had to stand for its right to exist without compromises and mean ways.

Being a leader means to do something that most of the people are scared to do.

No one was speaking of mashiach, of better times, of prophecies becoming true of bottons to shine as the last step for the redemption.

Being a leader means to have a vision and being able to share it with the whole world.

Leaders are there because there is work to do.

There are people who need, problems to solve.

Challenges to undertake, dreams to be shared.

Leaders know when it’s time to light on a candle instead of staying there criticizing the dark that is everywhere.

A leader is there 24/24, 7/7 to serve his people.

These are only a few features of a person who dedicated every minute of his life to make this world a dwell for G-d and a better place for life.

Rebbe, may we deserve to see you again with our flesh eyes.

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life cycle

I put away the Pesach plates. I wrapped the pots, closed the food processor box, folded the table cloth, sealed the carton. And that’s it. Another Pesach has gone. I sat on a chair before putting away the Pesach stuff and closed my eyes. In front of me the Pesach of last year. Its guests, its food, its smells, its end. And how I wondered, sitting in the same chair, how the next pesach would be. How would be my life after a whole year. I remember I whispered a prayer in my heart. Please G-d make the next Pesach be exactly like this year. Make that, when I open the boxes on the next spring season, I make it with a smile. Let me be nervous only about the big number of guests I need to cook for. And nothing else. I get up from the chair and I put the last piece of cellotape on the brown box. I tap the top of the carton and help to bring it to the garage where it will rest for the next eleven and half months. I open the door of my kitchen and remove the aluminium foil on the counters, the refrigerator, cupboards and walls. I let the last smell of Pesach freedom fly away in the air. Bringing in Heaven all my prayers and those of my beloved nation. Image

may your soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life

We are here again. For the 14th time. Since that Nissan 3rd during which it was decided from Above, your life was at its end. How could I imagine the kiss I received from you was forever the last one? How could I know I would not feel your strong arms around me before leaving my home? How could I foresee that one day I would have found myself  thinking of you as a light ray, a soul staying under the Heavenly throne, a person who comes to visit his dears only during night and dreams? For every tear I am sheding for you today, I have a special memory to think inside me. As those hot days spent in the Jewish Cemetery of Venice, washing and cleaning tombal stones of Jews dead five hundred years ago. Because you were scared that, one day, nothing will last of those precious engraved words. Discovering the symbols of ancient Jewish Italian families, as the two hands for the kohanim, the lion for the famous Leon da Modena, the eagle for the nobles. Or those endless journeys to Stasbourg to buy  kosher food and meat when you decided it was worthy to travel one and a half hour more in order to go and see the beth hamidrash of Rashi, where he used to study and bring down to this earth heavenly words and explanations. And that Menorah Lego shape. Which you proudly showed me after having worked on it for nigths and days. It should have been the realizzation of your dreams. The Menorah was a miniature plant of the Italian Jewish Museum you were dreaming to build. But in Heaven there was a different plan. And it was decided you were desired there, directly under the Celestial Throne. During this day in which it seems to me I can still hear your voice and not  the kadish said in your memory, I wish you look from above and you smile. Because you are proud of your children. Whom, in every moment of their life, try to go on with your interrupted job spreading and showing the only thing will last after we are not here anymore, is our good deeds and beliefs. Your love for Judaism, for its roots, for its ancient messages perfectly fitting future generations, is always with us. As you are. My dad, my dear papi. May your soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life (as you taught me to say for those who were not with us anymore)

Gheula, Aviva, Ronnie, Gady and Naty

 

Dear H, our hearts are there with you…

Dear H.,
I am sitting here and thinking of you. I was planning to do something else, to use my time for the endless things I have to do before my children come home from school. But, as happened already in most of the times I tried to do things during the last days, my thoughts went to you.
To your changed life. To your morning, when you open your eyes on a new day and just pray in your heart “Please G-d tell me all this was only a nightmare”. Waking up, washing your face, looking in the mirror at your image and remembering those relaxed days in which you still had the will of being busy with green and grey, red and pink, the colors with which you should make up that day. Going to wake up your kids for school, asking G-d to give you enough strenght to smile as nothing changed. Receiving a tired hug from your sweet girls and trying to swallow those precious moments. That maybe, before all this happened, were as normal routine. And not as you can see them now. Small miracles. Dear H, what you are passing through is not only for you. it’s for everybody of us. it’s a lesson. Of life. Of apreciation. And love. It’s an opportunity for us, your friends, to close our eyes in front of all the mess our children are doing, To be less nervous if a file gets lost in our computer. Or the fridge breaks. Or the new oven, bought only a few months ago, decides it does not want to work anymore. These things have no power on us, are not able to change our mood. There are in life things that are much more important. and worthy to worry. And be happy for. May H’ listen to all our prayers, all the whispers of our lips while we pronounce the name of your baby uncountable times a day. May your life get back immediately as it was before the bad news of that day. May your biggest worry be about the skirt you will wear on the coming day. May we dance in your baby’s wedding remembering and laughing on those worrying days. We love you H. We are there with you, with all our hearts, souls, minds and prayers.