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2015-06-19 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


June 19, 2015  RSS feed
Rabbinically Speaking

Text: T T T

How long can a candle burn?

By RABBI SHALOM ADLER Young Israel/Chabad of Pinellas County, Palm Harbor

There is a story told of a prominent Rabbi who was enticed to move to a fairly modest community. The congregation leaders enticed him by mentioning that some of the greatest Rabbis in Poland were buried there. He figured if this town was good enough for them, he would be glad to move there.

Upon arrival, however, he found out that he had been duped. None of the great Rabbis were interred in the local Jewish cemeteries. He rushed to the community elder filled with righteous indignation.

“How could you mislead me?” he asked.

“We did not lie to you,” they responded calmly. “All of those Rabbis are indeed dead and buried here. Nobody has heard of them, and none of us study their teachings. In their hometowns they are alive, as their message still lives on!”

They say that true value of a life cannot be measured until a person’s physical presence has departed. Does their message still resonate? Are they still relevant? Do people still analyze their writings and teachings?

This Shabbat, June 20 is Gimmel (the third of) Tammuz. It is 21st Yahrtzeit of my mentor and teacher, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of blessed memory. Of course he was not just my mentor and inspiration. He has touched, and continues to touch, the lives of thousands across the globe.

Twenty one years ago there were only two branches of Chabad in the Tampa Bay area, now there are eight. Across the United States and throughout the world, Chabad Shluchim are emissaries of love and, light and warmth.

When Jews are in distress, whether in the Ukraine, Nepal or even closer to home, my colleagues and friends in those places jump into the fray to help everyone, regardless of religion, creed, color or lifestyle.

Twenty one years later, the Rebbe’s message continues to shine brightly, illuminating the lives of tens of thousands of people.

But the Rebbe’s ultimate vision and dream, the hope for a perfected G-dly world is as yet unrealized. That is a mission he entrusted to us. With every mitzvah, and every helping hand, we help make this dream a reality.

In honor of the Rebbe, please do an extra mitzvah this week. I know he will appreciate it, and you will and the world will feel better too.

The Rabbinically Speaking column is provided as a public service by the Jewish Press in cooperation with the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis. Columns are assigned on a rotating basis by the board.

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