Neither Tzipah nor I were privileged to have met the Rebbe in his lifetime. We encountered the Rebbe through his worldwide shluchim, his emissaries. In the spirit of Ahavat Yisrael, love of our fellow, these representatives around the world continue the Rebbe’s work and directives.
When Chassidim speak of a connection to their Rebbe, they are not referring to his beautiful face, sparkling eyes, or smile that embraced the world. Rather, it is the Rebbe’s neshama, soul, which reaches out to everyone, empowering leaders and initiating a campaign of light. Before the days of television, phone or the internet, Chassidim maintained deep relationships with their Rebbe, with little or no means of communication. Even while the Rebbe was still living, he transcended his mere physical being. For this reason, Chassidim often speak of the Rebbe in the present tense.
Today we do not spend our Sundays — as many did — waiting in line for hours to receive a dollar from the Rebbe to give to tzedakah, charity. We no longer wait all night for a personal meeting with the Rebbe. Today, visiting the over 3500 Chabad Houses across the globe, we feel the presence of the Rebbe and yearn to tap into that essential soul connection.
In November 2004, Tzipah and I moved to Kew Gardens Hills to establish another link in this glorious chain at Queens College. We pray and hope that our campus programming would make the Rebbe proud.
To read more about the Rebbe, please visit www.therebbe.com.