The Rebbe Pointed At Me: Here Is G-D

The following is a part two of the encounter that took place in the front of 770 where a group of Bachurim (yeshiva students) saw a young man in long hair and boots approach the Rebbe, who waved his finger around and then pointed at this man’s chest. What happened there? What did the Rebbe say? The encounter is retold by the former “young man” himself. Note The picture of the Rebbe is a First time released picture, to learn more about the Rebbe Visit: www.inspiringageneration.org

Mr. Elliot Relates:

It was January 1973. I was a law student at SUNY Buffalo and at the time had two serious questions on Judaism that were bothering me. So I called up Rabbi Nosson Gurary, director of the campus Chabad house, and asked him the questions. His reply to me was: “The only one who can answer you is the Rebbe. He is based in Brooklyn, New York. Go to him and he will help you.”

Rabbi Gurari told me that the Rebbe came to 770 to daven mincha every afternoon at about 3:00, so this was the time I could possibly meet him.

I arrived at 770 from Manhattan, where I was staying with a group of friends. Rabbi Hendel, a relative of Rabbi Gurary, helped me out by lending me a kippah (skullcap).

I glanced around 770. Suddenly hearing it was the time for the Rebbe to appear, I hurried to the front of 770 outside.

There I was, decked in jeans, snakeskin boots, with hair down my back and a couple of earrings. The Rebbe, meanwhile, emerged from his car. Immediately I approached him, and we stood there, in front of the steps leading to 770.

“Excuse me,” I asked, “are you the Lubavitcher Rebbe?”

“Yes,” the Rebbe answered. Then he asked, “What is your name, and where are you from?”

So I told the Rebbe my name and family name. Then I said, “Can I ask you a question?”

“Ask,” the Rebbe replied.

“Where is G-d?”

“Everywhere.”

“I know, but where?”

This time the Rebbe replied with his finger. “Everywhere. He is in a rock. He is in a tree . . . .”

“I know, but where?” I pressed. “I really want to know where.”

The Rebbe pointed directly at me. “In your heart. If this is how you ask.”

I then asked the Rebbe, “Can I speak to you in English?”

I continued, “When we say ‘Shema Yisroel’ [Hear O Israel], whether it is a Black person saying it or an Indian saying it, there is one G-d for all of us. But does it have the same meaning for them as for us?”

The Rebbe answered, “The essence of a Black man is to be what he is; the essence of an Indian is to be what he is. But the essence of a yid [Jew] is tied to G-d through the fulfillment of Torah and mitzvoth. So for us it has a different meaning.”

The Rebbe concluded that I should learn the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch [Abridged Code of Jewish Law] and begin laying tefillin [phylacteries] every day.

During our conversation, my contact with the Rebbe was so powerful that it left me virtually transported. After he said goodbye and entered 770, I began to cry. I felt that the truth I was looking for had come at last.

10 Comments

  • 3. Binyomin wrote:

    The photo is very nice but since R’ Yochanan Gordon passed away in 1969, this story is totally unrelated to the story. But the idea is nice

  • 4. yo wrote:

    ……what is the essence of a Indian, black, Asian, or European person? sounds sooo stereotype and very unRebbe like.

    Are there not Asian, black, Indian, and Arabic Jews?
    This story is prob’ not accurate

  • 5. Rabbi. T . Kaplan wrote:

    I know this guy for many many years on a very personal level. I was a student learning in 770 then in 1973 and remember the event like yesterday, For your information, the conversation was written up directly from the guy who it happened with, if you would like to find out the details or if you have questions on details of the event, email and find out

  • 6. sara wrote:

    to yo
    read it again and think about it some more. it is not sterotyping or negative in the least.

  • 7. Yosef wrote:

    Yo,
    A convert becomes Jewish, regardless of his former race or nationality.

    Tanya teaches that the essence of Jews are different from non-Jews. This difference plays out practically in that Jews study Torah and fulfill more mitzvahs than non-Jews. So in the short time the Rabbe is allotted to in the story he explains it quite succinctly.

    The only questionable detail here is why this man needed to ask the Rebbe such a silly question who’s answer is not new, snd not unique to Chabad philosophy (anymore).

    The story has as much validity as any unverifiable Rebbe story.
    What would you have the Rebbe answer?

  • 9. just asking wrote:

    Notice how close those “chassidim” are to the Rebbe with no beard.

    Why was it so excepted back then, and now if you dont have a beard but you try to do so many good things and be a good chossid , it is so frowned upon????

    Just asking for ppl to try and see past the beard issue of last week….just bring proof from the photo…if a beard was AS important and we make it out to be today….u think they would have had such a close seat to the Rebbe????? Just ask yourselves “ how many times during a farbrengen did the Rebbe turn around to gaze or smile at those seated so close to him” What, you think he didnt notice…???
    Point.

    They were excepted
    They were respected.
    They listened to.
    And they were looked up to..
    If you have an issue about what your children will think…
    Its your job to explain to you children the difference between apearances and actions and what someone is rally all about.

    Vehamayvin Yovin.

  • 10. Yosef wrote:

    “just asking”,
    The seating at farbrangens bring absolutely no proof that the non-bearded may be looked up to or respected.
    At the Farbrangen, those without a beard were never raised on the Rebbe’s teachings. They were afforded “special” treatment because they were usually important donors, delegates or politicians. This occurs by many ’tishen’, as well.
    (Chassidim under communism or the czar is a different kettle of fish.)
    For born-and-raised Lubavitchers, not wearing a beard is not just an abrogation of Chassidishkeit, it abrogates Halacha, because our Halachic authorities (Rebbes #1 & #3) forbade it explicitly.
    While I am sure whoever touches their beard has their reasons, and I won’t judge them, they most definitely cannot be seen as a positive role model in any sense. If children see them being honored in Shul, their parents should clarify this point.

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