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Lubavitcher Rebbe Would Have Been on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, Says Longtime Secretary

“If the Lubavitcher Rebbe were alive today, he’d be active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other forms of social media,” Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky told a crowd that gathered to mark Gimmel Tammuz in central New Jersey.

From the New Jersey Jewish News:

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died in 1994, was so tech savvy for his time, reported Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, his longtime secretary, that he had a car phone installed as soon as the technology became available.

If the Lubavitcher Rebbe were alive today, said Krinsky, he’d be active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other forms of social media.

Krinsky spoke June 18 at Chabad of Western Monmouth County in Manalapan commemorating the 21st yahrtzeit of the leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch hasidic movement.

“Can you just imagine the Rebbe on social media?” mused executive director Rabbi Boruch Chazanow, who interviewed Krinsky for the program.

Their talk touched on the ways Chabad has integrated technology in their outreach efforts; indeed, the 130 attendees were asked to text their questions to the cell phone of adult education director Rabbi Levi Wolosow.

Krinsky said the Rebbe, who was educated in science and mathematics at the University of Berlin and the Sorbonne in Paris, would use a computer when they came on the scene late in his life. Yet the Rebbe insisted on opening all of the many hundreds of letters that arrived daily himself — he was a “speed reader” who could digest a letter in seconds, said Krinsky — so as to be able “to see the tears” with which each envelope was sealed.

Now chair of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, Chabad’s educational and social services divisions, Krinsky served on the Rebbe’s administrative staff for more than 40 years.

Click here to continue reading at the New Jersey Jewish News.

26 Comments

  • 3. yankel wrote:

    i believe he has been misunderstood
    what i believes he means that maybe the rebbe secretary’s would disseminate his words through social media

  • 4. annonymous wrote:

    my rebbe would never approve of social media maybe his would but not mine

  • 5. There is a boss wrote:

    I’m assuming Rabbi Krinsly meant the Rebbe would have chabad and or Mazkirus active on social media not that the Rebbe would be himself active.

  • 6. CHT wrote:

    all famous people have page on facebook, but they don’t maintain them. Someone would just publish the daily Rebbes sicha in there.

  • 8. Wow wrote:

    The wise must be cautious with their words. I cannot believe he said that.

  • 9. Riiiighhhht wrote:

    He probably meant to say the rebbe would use/utilise it… חכמים היזהרו בדבריכם

  • 10. Dovber wrote:

    Is the implied message is that our Rebbe has to be on social media to be relevent in 2015? If that’s what they are suggesting, then I think they are making a mistake.

  • 11. starfaced wrote:

    It makes 100% sense because according to chassidut everything in this world was created to serve Hashem. Of course us limited human beings may sometimes use these devices not in the most appropriate manner. Nevertheless, each thing in this world should be used to enhance and spread yiddishkeit.

  • 12. A Shliach wrote:

    I was present at the event and this is a very inaccurate article.

    1. This question was not asked by Rabbi Chazanow. It came up in the Q&A. And the question was, “If the Rebbe were alive today, do you think he would have embraced technology? Facebook? texting, etc?”

    2. Rabbi Krinsky answered, that the Rebbe always taught to utilize technology for the purpose of good, and he added, “If Facebook had been around when the Rebbe was alive, the world would be a different place today!”

    3. Somebody asked, that he had heard, in the name of Rabbi Simpson, that the Rebbe did not allow a computer in the mazkirus office, and Rabbi Krinsky said that was not true.

    4. In an unrelated inaccuracy. Rabbi Chazanow asked about the veracity of the story that the Rebbe was offered a letter opening machine, and the Rebbe said that an envelope that was sealed with tears, cannot be opened by machine. Rabbi Krinsky said, he never heard the story.

  • 13. The Rebbe did not even use a Telephone! wrote:

    The Rebbe did not even use a Telephone! To my knowledge, The Rebbe NEVER used a computer in his life!!

    • 14. True story wrote:

      I have heard many times that the Rebbe would listen in to the phone calls coming in and out of 770. I heard of even one time with R’ Shapiro in Miami Beach was in zal talking to R’ Groner on the phone and the Rebbe was listening. At one point the Rebbe interrupted to which R’ Shapiro(sitting at the time) hearing the Rebbe’s voice, jumps up and quickly throws his Gartel on.

      And please, before you assume that the Rebbe did not keep up with technology, what about the live broadcasts on TV??

      Stop posting you sound ignorant.

    • 16. Milhouse wrote:

      Earlier in his life of course the Rebbe used telephones. Nobody could doubt that. But by the late ’70s or early ’80s he had stopped using it for external calls. Somewhere around 1985 a certain person claimed that the Rebbe old him certainly things over the phone; the Rebbe publicly said that this was an obvious lie, since it’s well known that he never speaks on the telephone. However he still used the internal phone system to speak to R Hodakow and the Mazkirus.

  • 17. Abraham lincoln wrote:

    Shtuyos,
    Was the Rebbe himself on TV shows and Radio interviews?
    The chasidim broadcasted the Rebbe’s farbreingen,
    Same thing is happening today through social medias
    ….

  • 18. c.f. wrote:

    That these things are spoken about on a Gimmel Tammuz gathering…. how strange. But coming from a PR person perhaps not surprising – for that is the job of PR, the packaging (and not so much the substance).Twitter, facebook – it’s his opinion and everyone is entitled to his opinion.
    As to his reference to the letters which people sent to the Rebbe, all of which the Rebbe personally opened – that is correct. For the record – it was the Chief Secretary of Merkos and personal secretary of the Rebbe, Rabbi Nissan Mindel, who was the only one charged with all the Rebbe’s correspondence and it is from his written report that we know the accurate details concerning the Rebbe’s correspondence. This detail is correct, as Rabbi Mindel reports.

  • 19. wow! wrote:

    The same way the rebbe was on TV and there were articles in the newspaper. The Rebbe’s teachings can be spread through social media. I don’t see any difference. Obviously it does not mean the rebbe himself but through chassidim.

  • 20. A Chossid wrote:

    On a totally different note: People should stop speaking as if The Rebbe passed away. Every Yid believes in Olam Haba, so The Rebbe can still see us and give us Chiyus.

    The word is: “Gimmel Tammuz.”

  • 21. use you head wrote:

    Facebook allows to have a maximum of 5000 “fiends”
    ,so this is would be nothing for the Rebbe
    Certanly It would be a Rebbe account as a celebrity for people just follow him and watch his videos, hear sichos and maimorim, and write letters, managed from mazkirus

  • 22. At the event wrote:

    I was at the event and obviously Rabbi Krinsky never said that. The reporter did not report correctly.

  • 23. Yehoshua wrote:

    Would the Rebbe have openly supported medical cannabis?!
    I think so, as many lives could be saved through this…
    To quote the Rebbe. ‘A cigarette will be invented which won’t harm health.’
    Definately Not tobacco… Vaporising cannabis has much medicinal value.

  • 25. Cool it. wrote:

    Rabbi Krinsky was appointed by the Rebbe to be his spokesman.
    I’m sure the Rebbe chose wisely.
    All the critics could appoint themselves as spokespeople for any Rebbe of thee choice.
    Rabbi Krinsky however remains the Rebbe’s.

  • 26. The Rebbe's True Greatness wrote:

    Reading these comments, I am once again struck by the greatness of the Rebbe. I cannot imagine how he put up for 42 years with such a group of infantile people who consider themselves his chassidim….

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