Founder and CEO of Jewish Community Watch Meyer Seewald recounts an amazing episode that occurred at the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Ohel in Queens.
On Eruv Rosh Chodesh Iyar (the day before the first of Iyar) I went to the Ohel (burial place) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to ask his blessing for the success of an event Jewish Community Watch was holding that night in Monsey, New York.
I asked that the event should empower victims of child sexual abuse and succeed in opening the eyes of the community to this epidemic.
I also asked for blessings for a few other things, signed my name at the bottom, and added the name of a lone soldier in the IDF who will be speaking at JCW events in Israel this upcoming week.
I ended my note with the words from the well known talk of the Rebbe where he said that there are times where we have to stop deliberating and take action.
When I was done, I went to a room in which videos of past talks by the Rebbe are continuously playing. I sat down and started watching the video that was currently on, when to my amazement, the Rebbe addressed everything I had written in my letter just moments before!
In this video, recorded in the 1980’s, the Rebbe is talking about the importance of child education and how precious each child is, but the words the Rebbe used were aimed directly at me, JCW and the community.
Here are selected quotes from the Rebbe’s talk:
“There are thousands of Jewish children, every single one of them more precious than gold.”
“Why is everyone preoccupied with everything else and this critical issue is brushed to the corner, and when they are prodded on the issue they respond with a sigh, they conduct a meeting, draft a resolution…You must do some do something.’’
“You are preoccupied? Surely if G-d was able to designate time for all your other matters, He will certainly give you the time to rescue a Jewish child. How much more so if you can rescue Jewish children—each person to the best of his ability, tens of Jewish children.”
“The excuse that you already drafted a resolution or organized a meeting…..
We need action. What is actually being done for the Jewish child on your street corner or on the block of the synagogue or study hall?”
“You may be preoccupied with lofty matters, but it does nothing for this child – he continues to drift with the influences of the streets.”
“The previous Rebbe started a campaign called “Immediate repentance will bring immediate redemption.” It was an intense campaign, there was opposition that caused him hardships, and I don’t want to use a harsher term. And he faced more than hardships, but he continued and it continued for generations.”
You can watch the video here:
We showed the video at that night in Monsey and needless to say, The event was a tremendous success.
And the story doesn’t end there. During the event I got a whatsapp message from the lone soldier who will be speaking in Israel with the following message:
“Oh my G-d.
I just watched the video of the Rebbe then I opened the Igros.
I got a letter dated Alef of Rosh Chodesh Iyar!
The letter speaks about how after the Holocaust each of us has a huge responsibility to continue the avoda of those that died al kiddush Hashem and especially with regard to the children, how each one is a seed who will continue the chain of generations and generations and how it’s our responsibility to make sure they grow up with the values of Judaism and Torah.”