As many of you know, I was zoche to graduate from YU this semester, and since my parents paid over $150,000.00 for that education, I was forced to go to graduation.
Surprisingly, it was a very nice ceremony, featuring a very nice address by Tim Russet, and Stan "The Man" Watson getting an award from YU. However, there was another honorary degree that went out that needs mentioning.
After Stan got his award, YU honored R' Jacob (Yaacov) Birnbaum. To be honest, right when they started the ceremony for R' Birnbaum, I put my iPod on and was not paying too much attention. But then, when they mentioned his work for soviet Jews, he received a round of applause, someone caught my eye. Who was in the front row, standing up to give "props" to R' Birnbaum? Rebbe. After seeing this, I took of my iPod and listened to the accomplishments of this amazing man. According to YU:
"Jacob Birnbaum initiated the grassroots struggle for Soviet Jewry in New York City in 1964 and laid the groundwork for a national movement that energized an entire generation of Jewish activists. He is the founder and director of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) and other Soviet Jewry organizations. Mr. Birnbaum derives from a distinguished European Jewish family of scholars, artists and poets. These include his grandfather, Nathan, a Jewish activist and a seminal figure in early Zionism, who is credited with coining the term Zionism, and was elected to the post of Secretary General of the first Zionist Congress in 1897. His father, Solomon, was a pioneer in two areas of Jewish scholarship. Mr. Birnbaum's family fled the Nazis and settled in England. After World War II, he worked with the victims of Nazism and Soviet totalitarianism and later the troubled Jewries of North Africa. He also served as the director of the Jewish Community Council of Manchester, England. After he settled in New York City, he created a teacher and student core of Soviet Jewry activists at Yeshiva University, and went on to build a significant New York institutional Soviet Jewry infrastructure in the 1960s. This established the primacy of "Let My People Go" and then "Let My People Know (their heritage)". Today he continues his efforts to strengthen the Jewish identity of Jews from the former Soviet Union. A United States House of Representatives resolution (HRes 137) "honoring the life and six decades of public service of Jacob Birnbaum" is in the final stages of the legislative process."
I just wanted to let the Revolution know of Rebbe's support for R' Birnbaum, and recognize the amazing accomplishments of this holy Yid.
The boy's name Harold \ha-ro-ld\ is pronounced HARE-uld. It is of Scandinavian origin, and its meaning is "army ruler". Herald is also literally "one who proclaims". An Anglo-Saxon name. British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan; playwright Harold Pinter.
Pretty fitting for the leader of a revolution.
Functions carried out by Rebbes
There are some functions which are exclusively the domain of hasidic rebbes:
* Reading kvitlekh Not so much, though he does occasionally read a bechina.
* Leading a tish Most definitely.
* Participating in family celebrations of the chasidim, such as weddings and brisn (circumcision ceremony) Certainly.
* Performing mitzvos etc. in the presence of their chasidim, such as kindling the Chanuka lights and drawing water to bake matzos with See previous posts.
* Leading the prayers on Shabbos, Holy Days and other special occasions When the Rubin shul snags don't get in the way.
* Delivering learned or inspirational discourses Always.
5) As most people know, Rebbe's spiritual mentor is the mashgiach, Rav Moshe Wolfson shlitah. In Rav Wolfson's Emunas Yisrael Beis Midrash, all Chasidim inside wear shtreimlach. Only two people dont wear shtreimlach; Rav Wolfson and Rebbe. One Shabbas when Rebbe was in Emunas Yisrael, Rebbe went after services to wish the mashgiach a "gut shabbas". When it was Rebbe's turn to offer his hand, Rav Wolfson said, "Heshy, when Mashiach come, you and I will also be wearing shtreimlach."
Papa Smurf is gentle, wise, and knowledgeable. Not only does he serve as leader, he also has diplomatic skills in case they meet humans or other creatures, and usually manages to speak without using the "smurf" word.
Papa Smurf's duty is to ensure all the Smurfs of the village get along well, are nice to each other, and don't fight. When real chaos rises among them, Papa Smurf takes very drastic measures, often using magic, like switching bodies with Gargamel in order to pretend to attack the village ("Smurf Versus Smurf" issue) or even creating a whole other village of evil doubles of the original Smurfs ("The Smurf Menace" issue).
When he is not doing his leader or "father-knows-best" job, Papa Smurf indulges in his favorite hobby: magical chemistry, or alchemy. He often makes elixirs to help out Smurfs who get themselves into peril. His house is a huge laboratory with several chemical devices, and he tries to create potions for the good of the Smurfs, yet sometimes fails - such as the time he accidentally created a substance that turned any living thing into a huge monster (see the album: "The Smurfs and the Cracoucass").
The Comments on the Rebbe-day parade has raised a long time issue. This blog and overall Ruach Revival has a policy of "No Snags"- so if your are a snag- please leave your snag baggage at the door and get ready to smile and hug yidden you have never met before.
SAY NO TO FROWNS!
Either we totally freaked the Rebbe out, or he was going to town at the shmorg's fruit station. Possible both. Stay tuned for the Levite Schlepper's Victory Entebbe Niggun (featuring Shooki).
Through the years, you've never let me down, You've turned my life around. The sweetest days I've found, I've found with you...
I've never been afraid
I've loved the life we've made
And I'm so glad I've stayed
Right here with you
Through the years
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The Salute to Rebbe Parade will be better.
Addition: Look at Rebbe's hands in comparison to the rabbi next to him. Chesed over Gevurah or Gevurah over Chesed?
In this oldie but goodie from the Fall of 2003 - they don't call me Zakein for nutin' - Rebbe calls Abe (the mad Russian) his talmid and explains what Abe did to deserve such distinction.
BTW, I saw Abe in Israel a few months ago. I did not inquire as to his diet.
More than 1200 Belzer Chassidim accompanied the Belzer Rebbe Shlita on a historic visit to the Belzer Shtetel in the Ukraine. He arrived on Monday morning in Lvov (Lemberg) and traveled to Belz (approx. 90 min drive) where they were Mispallel at the Kivrei Tzadikim of the First Three Belzer Rebbe’s; (R’ Shulem ZATZAL, his Son R’ Shea ZATZAL & his Son R’ Yesochor Dov ZATZAL). This was also the first time since WWII that they were Mispallel at the first Belzer Rebbitzen Malka’s Kever - since it was just recently discovered. The Rebbe returned to Eretz Yisroel later that evening.
Mazel tov A-lee Kohl. May your son be Rebbe's chosen one. In other words, may he rise like Pinchas, to shish kebob the snags who have banned Rebbe from the 8:30 minyan - and like Pinchas may he be blessed with infinite peace. May he build castles with the sand of Gush Katif, the broken luchos that fall from Rebbe's pockets.
My quick scan of the blog indicates that my Sicilian brother - who may or may not be a made guy - has tried to make the leap to the hidden one in the desert. The time is not ready for this meeting. Don't make me distract you with gavadeel and gravy.
I will be posting some clips and teachings from the old days... Here's one from lag.