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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The miracle of love

Take a man and teach him. To put on tefilin. If you explained him well the incredible bond he will be able to create with G-d through these leather laces, you will have high probabilities, the next morning this person will put the tefilin without the necessity to be convinced anymore. Take a woman and transmit her. The secret staying behind a dancing flame of a shabat candle. If you will be patient enough to tell her about the infinite dose of light she will be able to bring in this world through a simple flame, you can be sure the next friday she will not need to be told twice. And she will use a match and a candle to add positive light. Take a child and try to describe him. The connection that exists between a biscuit and the faculty of a soul to perceive and serve G-d. If you will be a good teacher a non kosher cookie will never enter in that litttle mouth. Take a human being and force him. To love his fellow Jew as it was himself. To avoid doing others what he would not like people would do to him. If you’ll stay the whole night teaching him about the fundamental concept as love for a fellow Jew is. If you will dedicate him whole days telling him about what rabbi Akiva used to define a big rule of the Torah. If you will convince him that all the rest is only a comment, as Hillel did with that person who dreamt to become a Jew, than start to pray. And hope. That the effect of your words, the impact of your teachings, will last for more than two minutes. Because between 613 commandments that G-d gave to His children, there is one that does not involve hands, does not require a book, nor a kosher logo. It asks only that you, for a while, forget about your problems, your shopping, your wishes and dreams. And try to think with the head of somebody who is another one. But you. G- d knows its creatures, their defects, their limits, their nature. And this is why between the 613 commandments, there is such a thing that reminds it is a duty to love one’s fellow. It is not only a suggestion. It’s a mizvah. As eating kosher and respecting shabat. I know it is hard. Even Rabbi Akiva’s students did not have the strenght to fight against their egos. But the Torah asks to serve G-d with all yourself. And the minimum we can do is to start and try. To put aside for one minute our egos and needs and love our fellow as all his life was ours.

The taste of freedom

What is freedom? Asked themselves Jews the day in which they left Egypt. What are we going to be? Went on saying those who did not dare to ask themselves such questions little before. What is the taste of getting up in the morning not being forced by anybody to do things you don’t want to? Dared to think people who were still bearing on their bodies the signs of a cruel slavery. Freedom is to sacrifice the god of your oppressors to the true G- d answered Moses explaining the rules about the Passover lamb. You are going to stop being the slaves of men. In order to be free to be the slaves of G-d, went on to explain Moses. You will taste the real freedom since the exact instant in which you will be commanded to observe the sanctity of shabat, when you will not enjoy anymore the opportunity to eat any kind of meat you might like, with the duty to eat only unleavened food during the days of Passover. Time went by. New generations arrived. People who did not find satisfying answers for the questions they had. Is this real freedom? Ask themselves Jews everyday when coming back from an uninterrupted seven days of work. Is this my true identity? Go on saying people who are not used to ask themselves what is the real purpose for which G-d put them in this world. Is this the true taste of freedom? Dare to think some Jews challenging a world that thinks Divine rules are a limitation for human expression. Freedom is to be able to think as a Jew. And not as the world wants you to, answers Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Rebbe, whose main purpose in life was to save his brothers and sisters from having similar thoughts and life approach to all other nations on this earth. Freedom has the taste of kosher food. Of matzah, maror and charoset. Freedom lies her. In the daily strenght to eat unleavened food when all the world around you eats chocolate eggs. Freedom is to be able to sit at a seder table and to tell without shame and fear the story of the Exodus from Egypt for the hundredth and thousandth time to your children. Freedom is this. To raise your head when the world would like you to stay down and cry. And shout with all the air you have in your lounges: am Israel is still chai. We are still here, thanks to all Moses of each generation. And no evil, no assimilation will ever have the power to erase matzah from our seder table.

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