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Polish Leader Gets a Firsthand Look at Chasidic Life During Visit to Israel

Joshua Runyan –

Meir Dahan/

KFAR CHABAD, Israel — Lech Walesa, the popular former president of Poland whose Solidarity Party ushered in a social revolution in the once Communist country, visited the Israeli village of Kfar Chabad early this week.

His journey to the Chabad village came at the tail end of a visit that saw the former Polish president address business leaders in Tel Aviv.

Walesa indicated to Rabbi Shalom DovBer Stambler, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Poland, that he wanted to see first hand how the ìJewish Chasidic lifeî enables thousands of individuals to travel around the globe in order to strengthen Judaism. Stambler, whose family lives in Kfar Chabad, directed the former president to the tiny central Israeli village that serves as the headquarters of Chabad-Lubavitch in the country.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate visited the factory that makes hand-made shmura matza for Passover. He also visited the Stambler home and sat down with former Israeli Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau; Rabbi Moshe Landau, chief rabbi of Bnei Brak; and Shevach Weiss, former Israeli ambassador to Poland.

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