Photos by Marco Dashev
An electrifying Kinus Celebration marked the 62st anniversary of the founding of “Tzach,” Tzeirei Agudas Chabad Hamerkozis, also known as the Lubavitch Youth Organization, by the Rebbe in 1955.
The celebration at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Crown Heights was timed with Beis Iyar, the birthday of the fourth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, known by the acronym the “Rebbe Maharash.”
It was the Rebbe Maharash’s staple motto of “Lechatchilah Ariber” (“Go above from the start”) that was the theme of the festive farbrengen that united Chabad Shluchim from around the New York Metropolitan area.
A video of the Rebbe speaking about this motto was the opening salvo of the event, invigorating participants to continue their mission to rekindle the holy spark in the hearts and minds of the Jewish people.
The emcee was Rabbi Aharon Ginsburg Shliach in Boro Park, Brooklyn who welcomed both the Shluchim and Members of the Board of Lubavitch Youth Organization which oversees Chabad’s outreach activities in the New York Metropolitan area.
Rabbi Ginsburg introduced Rabbi Moshe Pesach Goldman, as senior member of the Vaad of Tzeirei Agudas Chabad (“Tzach”) Hamerkozis. Rabbi Goldman, the long-time secretary of the organization from the very beginning, indeed recalled how Tzach was founded and its first activities to awaken American Jews to Torah and Mitzvos.
Rabbi Goldman remembered the Rebbe’s Chief of Staff Rabbi Mordechai Hodakov telling him and the Tzach Chairman Rabbi Dovid Raskin that the Rebbe initially wanted to participate in the organization’s first gathering.
“Rabbi Hadakov notified that the Rebbe’s Simchas Beis Hashoeva Farbrengen will therefore be considered a continuation of the first gathering and the Rebbe asked for a report from us,” he said. “I was privileged to deliver that report.”
Rabbi Goldman added that in the following years, the chairman of the annual gathering would provide a report of the event in the presence of the Rebbe during the Sukkos Farbrengen.
Rabbi Shmuel Butman, director of Tzeirei Agudas Chabad Hamerkozis, the Lubavitch Youth Organization, highlighted the organization’s pivotal role, quoting what Rabbi Dovid Raskin, said in the name of the Rebbe that although the Rebbe spoke about the founding of Tzeirei Agudas Chabad on Shabbos Mevorchim Iyar, 24 Nissan 5715, nevertheless, the Rebbe wanted that the founding should be on Beis Iyar. Stressing that since this is the birthday of the Rebbe Maharash, Tzeirei Agudas Chabad should be in the manner of “Tiferes Shebitferes” and “Lechatchile Ariber.”
Rabbi Butman emphasized that the Shluchim in the New York Metropolitan area have a special Z’chus of being Ligyono Shel Melech – the Shluchim in the Rebbe’s city and the Rebbe’s specific directive that being part of Tzeirei Agudas Chabad is a Tzinor, conduit, to spiritual and material Hatzlocho.
Rabbi Kasriel Kastel, the Program Director of Tzeirei Agudas Chabad Hamerkozis, spoke about the high success rate of the Shluchim with more than 65 Chabad centers offering an array of programs, classes, and activities for Jews of all backgrounds. Rabbi Kastel stressed that in his experience one of the most successful activities of Shluchim is Mivtzoim. He suggested that Mivtzoim should be a steady part of the day of the Schliach,
Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, Shliach in Clinton Hill and Pratt Institute spoke about his communal and personal experiences as a Shliach.
Rabbi Sholom Ber Begun, a new Shliach to Baruch College spoke of how the Rebbe guides Shluchim on a constant basis.
Rabbi Aharon Loshak, a new Shliach for Young Jewish Professionals of Prospect Heights East stressed the great success he saw in his Schlichus.
The Guest Speaker of the grand Farbrengen and celebration was Rabbi Yitzchok Schochet. He was introduced as the Rabbi of the Mill Hill Synagogue in London and as one of the most sought after speakers in the Jewish world today.
He enthralled the participants with a very unique personal experience and with deep thoughts of what Lechatchila Ariber means on a practical level in our daily activities. “The Rebbe gave you great powers and unlimited possibilities,” he said. “You are Shluchim in New York the largest population of Jews in the entire world.”
Rabbi Schochets’s words, with his unique form of delivery, had a deep and profound effect on the participants.
This was a great uplifting kinus of enthusiasm, unity and dedication. “This was an electrifying and warm event,” one Shliach commented. “We were uplifted by what we heard and empowered to take the Rebbe’s messages back to our Chabad centers and communities with greater enthusiasm, resolve and energy.”
The Shluchim left with a great feeling of strength and determination in their unity and commitment to the Rebbe’s Shlichus of preparing the world for the coming of Moshiach.