Cootamundra, population 6,700. I had been driving for six hours on behalf of Chabad of Rural and Regional Australia, or RARA, northbound along the seemingly endless Hume Highway, stretching the vast distance of Australia’s east coast. I was headed to Wollongong, just one of eleven locations where regional Seders would be taking place, a coastal paradise famed for its beautiful beaches and warm climate. But now I was taking an hour detour off the Hume Highway to visit the only Jewish family living in Cootamundra.
During the Shloshim of Menachem Mendel Bruchstat OBM, friends and classmates came up with the idea of purchasing and dedicating a Mitzvah Tank in his memory. On Yud Alef Nissan, the day of The Rebbe’s birthday, it came to fruition.
Dozens of ‘Mitzvah Tanks’ took to the streets of New York City to spread the message of redemption and of Pesach, as a ‘gift’ to the Lubavitcher Rebbe marking his 116th birthday. A simultaneous ‘rally’ for children took place in front of 770 – the Lubavitch World Headquarters.
For decades, emissaries of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement have set up tefillin stands in universities and at street corners around the world, looking to encourage Jewish passersby to put on phylacteries. One such tefillin stand in Paris received a most unusual visitor on Monday, when a middle-aged tourist from Morocco approached the stand and began chatting about the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
When 20-year-old rabbinical students Mendel Kastel and Mendel Lipskier arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal, on very short notice in April 1989, they knew they had their work cut out for them. But they were ready.
Two bus-loads of Beis Rivkah of Montreal High School students visited five Montreal Jewish schools and presented a specially prepared, original, interactive educational program for the young children.
It’s still early Friday morning, but Agripas Street is already wide awake. Those staying in town for Shabbat are rushing to the historic Machane Yehuda market (also known as the shuk) to buy food, challah, wine and other staples for the day of rest. And those leaving the city are rushing to the central bus station nearby to get to places all over Israel before the buses stop running an hour before sunset.
70 students from Yeshiva University enjoyed an inspiring Shabbos in Crown Heights together with their Oholei Torah chavrusas over farbrengens, meals, a grand Melava Malka, and a visit to the Rebbe’s Room, House, and library.
You know them when you see them, and when you see them, you know it’s Chanukah. The car menorah is a uniquely American innovation—a marketing gimmick created by young yeshivah students in the early 1970s as a way to spread awareness and the message of the eight-day Jewish holiday. Today, they can be found across the globe and on all kinds of vehicles.
While law enforcement agents were searching the Kensington, Brooklyn, home of Akayed Ullah, the would-be suicide attacker who had detonated a pipe bomb in a Manhattan subway on Monday, Rabbi Yisrolik Langsam, who heads a Chabad outpost in the area with his wife Mushkie, arrived at the scene to pass out donuts and Chanukah menorahs and wrap tefillin with Jewish people present — from law enforcement, the media and passersby.
All lanes of the upper level of the Brooklyn-bound side of the Verrazano Bridge were blocked Monday night, causing traffic delays. Included in the jam, which stretched for almost five miles, was a sukka mobile returning from a day of mivtzoim in the Staten Island area. The vehicle sat idle, but the Bochurim that were on it did not.
With Sukkos quickly approaching, dozens of Bochurim and Shluchim have already confirmed their Sukkah Mobiles for this coming Chol Hamo’ed. After tremendous efforts, by Bochurim and Yungerleit, the Sukkahs are ready to be assembled, rental contracts are already confirmed and much more has already been done in advance of what promises to be the biggest Sukkah Mobile season yet.
Following the incident in which a Chabad Chosid was fined for offering passersby to put on Tefillin, the mayor of Herzliya came to the office of Rabbi Reli Halperin, put on Tefillin, and announced the cancellation of the outrageous summons. The two parted with a hug.
Rabbis, yeshivah students and campers greeted participants in the “Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa,” offering kosher food, conversation and the chance for Jewish men to wrap tefillin as they pedaled through Postville.
The “Friday boys,” as they are called – students of the Lubavitch Yeshivah-Zekelman Campus in Oak Park, MI – surpassed a goal of wrapping tefillin with 1,000 men in two months; instead, they reached nearly 1,350.
Rachel Millstone, a congregant at Chabad of East County in San Diego, CA, relates how an unexpected mitzvah performed by her father on a college campus in the mid 1970s transformed their entire family for generations.
Hailing a yellow cab, grabbing a slice of pizza after a Yankees game, strolling through Central Park . . . these are some of the indelible parts of a New York City experience. So, too, is the sight of yeshivah students clamoring from a converted RV—better known as the “mitzvah tank”—tefillinand Shabbat candles in hand as they ask tourists and locals alike: “Excuse me, are you Jewish?” This is their story.
In response to the terror attack in Manchester which left 23 dead and over 60 injured, the most devastating attack to hit England in over a decade, a vigil memorial was held in the city’s Albert Square. Students of Yeshivas Lubavitch Manchester participated in the vigil, and encouraged any Jews they met to do a Mitzvah in memory of the victims.
A Chabad rabbi from Crown Heights, whose great-great grandfather served as spiritual leader of the the Jewish community of North Dakota for 53 years, returned to the state to conduct a Pesach Seder this year.
Marking the 115th birthday of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, dozens of ‘Mitzvah Tanks’ took to the streets of New York City to spread a message of redemption and of Pesach, as a ‘gift’ to the Rebbe.
In light of the Rebbe’s call to make sure that every Jew has Shmurah Matzah for the seder, every year talmidim of the Lubavitch Yeshiva of London distribute matzah to the nearby residents, a project of Kingsley Way Beis Hamedrash and the YGL Shluchim.
Soon after the Havdalah flames are doused on Saturday night, March 11, rabbis and rabbinical students will be starting their engines and embarking on a Purim adventure across the state of New York: bringing cheer to their brethren behind the walls of more than 40 correctional facilities.