Friday, March 30, 2007

Myth #8: The Rebbe Cared for Jews Far and Wide

He came representing Jews in the Far East.

Or so he thought.

After hours of waiting in line to meet the Rebbe face to face, he finally stood in front of the one and only person whose blessing he sought.

After introducing himself, and announcing who he represented, the Rebbe smiled warmly and gently corrected him.

There are no Jews in the East, maybe. But far? Never.

The man felt humbled by the Rebbe's rejection of the word "far" before "East."

He received his treasured blessing, and walked away with a newfound clarity.

After that, the man would never again use "far" and "Jews" in the same sentence.


That the Rebbe corrected such a seemingly insignificant statement should mean worlds to us. The Rebbe was not being nit-picky or "cute" in his rejection of the man's wording. In his protest, the Rebbe relayed his sensitivity in the way he related to each and every Jew, and the mindset that recharged thousands of Jewish souls.

The Rebbe was fierce - down to the words he used - in insisting that no Jew was far. It was the attitude that sent out emissaries, that responded to letters, and that revolutionized the way world Jewry related to, well, world Jewry.

And then we say, "The Rebbe went out of his way for one Jew." We say, "The Rebbe cared for Jews far and wide."

But, really, it's only that way to us.

The Rebbe's greatness, and the unique spark in his vision, was that, to him, every Jew was naturally in the twinkle of his eye.

For this reason, the Rebbe didn't think twice to send Chassidim across the world.

For the Rebbe, there was no "out of his way."

The Rebbe's love for every Jew obliterated countries and oceans.


People will spread their hands and widen their eyes when relaying how the Rebbe "cared for Jews far and wide."

While on some level there is a place for us to be astounded, the real truth is that, in the Rebbe's mind and actions, every Jew was really right outside his door.

The Rebbe's true gift to the world was that he held every Jew in the palm of his hand.


Anonymous said...


Chaya said...

I've heard that before, but you expressed it beautifully. Thank you.

temmi said...

soo here is the story u couldn't remember on thursday night
i knew you had a story... anyway found out the sitch with all the police cars.

Anonymous said...

Its a little creepy. A little like "Jesus loves you".
What does it mean the Rebbe LOVES its a strong word and almost none of our business how the Rebbe felt.
FAR meant as in that guy shouldn't feel isolated from his roots, from community from practice. Not the all-mighty Rebbe's love.

chang said...

first, don't disgrace my friends blog here with names best left unsaid.
You can get your point across without using such words...
second, chill out.
where's the anti-rebbe sentiment coming from?
or if not anti-rebbe, anti LOVE?
what the world?
if anyone loved his fellow Jew it was the rebbe.

Israel Krasnianski said...

Mimi has a whole post dedicated to a teacher in a non-Chabad classroom who saw nature as a disturbance to Torah study. The teacher had an issue with nature and the anonymous commentor above has a problem with love, both of which are positive and beautiful forces created by the One G-d who they feel so threatened by.

nature. love. Rebbe. whats the difference? same misunderstanding, from the same doctrined background of closed-mindedness. we pray for them and hope they allow themselves to be educated to love and be in awe of G-d, in addition to just fear of sin etc.

Mimi, youve got a big job and youre doin very well so far, keep it up and lets make the Rebbe proud of his children.

Itzhak Schier said...

By love, I believe Mimi means Ahavas Yisroel, which is a quality I find to be sorely lacking in most anonymous posts.

A kasher'n un freilichen Pesach.

Anonymous said...


i know why you went to the zoo on pesach... said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mimi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
spokesperson from the love base said...

how's that mim?

Anonymous said...

Rabbi M Kotlarsky once told me that the Rebbe speaking to a donor with him referred the area as a "place in the east not called close.” You may want to check with him for an exact quote.

Love your blog.