On the 57th anniversary of the founding of Tzeirei Agudas Chabad Hamerkozis, the central Lubavitch Youth Organization, the Shluchim, committee and staff of LYO gathered for a special festive farbrengen, dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Dovid Raskin, of blessed memory, chairman of central LYO, in connection with his first yahrtzeit a week later.
The gathering of the Shluchim and directors of the various institutions established by Tzeirei Agudas Chabad, the Lubavitch Youth Organization, and operating under its aegis was permeated with a warm atmosphere of devotion to the goals of the Rebbe, who has given them their mission, and to carrying out his activities with even greater vigor and renewed momentum, as befitting the date, the 2nd of Iyar, the birth date (in 5594-1834) of the fourth Rebbe, the Rebbe MaHaRaSh, whose motto was “l’chat’chila aribber” – to supersede the bounds of nature from the very outset.
The anniversary gathering was splendidly celebrated at a farbrengen and special festive meal at the Jewish Children’s Museum of Tzivos Hashem. With deep emotion, the audience watched a video of the holy scene of the Rebbe speaking publicly on the 2nd of Iyar one year.
The M/C, Rabbi Aron Ginsberg, of Chabad-Lubavitch of Borough Park, began with words of inspiration about how every Shliach should be connected constantly to the fulfillment of the mission he has received from the Rebbe. He then invited Rabbi Moshe Goldman, long-time Tzeirei Agudas Chabad secretary and committee member, to speak. Rabbi Goldman greeted the Rebbe’s Shluchim based in and around the Rebbe’s city, and wished them outstanding success, and that all of us together be able to fulfill the Rebbe’s mission and to bring even closer the ultimate Geula.
The M/C introduced Rabbi Shmuel Butman, director of Tzeirei Agudas Chabad who pointed out the special privileges the Rebbe has given everyone connected with LYO. Since the gathering was dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Dovid Raskin, of blessed memory, longtime chairman of Tzeirei Agudas Chabad, he mentioned the importance of remembering Reb Dovid frequent adage, that although it was originally on the Shabbos when the month of Iyar was blessed, on the 24th of Nissan, 5715 (1955), that the Rebbe first called for founding LYO, nevertheless the Rebbe always stressed that the date of LYP’s actual founding was on the 2nd of Iyar, which marks the sefira of tiferes-sheb’siferes – birth date of the Rebbe MaHaRaSh, whose motto was “l’chat’chila aribber.” This emphasizes how the Rebbe empowers everyone connected to Tzeirei Agudas Chabad to utilize the two special qualities – that all activities and conduct should be in a manner of l’chat’chila aribber, and in a manner not only of tiferes – splendor – but of tiferes-sheb’siferes – the highest form of splendor.
In 5751,continued Rabbi Butman, the Rebbe explained that conduct in a manner of l’chat’chila aribber has an effect upon the previous days, too, upon the dates of 27th-28th of Nissan that year, when the Rebbe spoke his renowned words about “the matter that is utterly incomprehensible” – the fact that we are still in exile. The Rebbe connected the subject with the 2nd of Iyar, emphasizing that it is essential to bring the ultimate Geula in a manner of l’chat’chila aribber. Based upon this, it is evident that LYO, founded on that date, was established in order further to speed and hurry the fulfillment of the ultimate Geula.
Rabbi Butman described Rabbi Dovid Raskin’s unique personality, how he was utterly devoted to the Rebbe and dedicated his life to fulfilling the Rebbe’s desire. He related several anecdotes to illustrate this.
He reminded everyone how, in 5745, when Rabbi Raskin fell ill with a dangerous sickness, the Rebbe referred to him at a farbrengen, without mentioning his name, as “a Tomim who has all the virtues of a Tomim” – an extraordinarily rare comment that expresses, better than any other, the personality of the Chossid and Tomim, Rabbi Dovid Raskin.
As a token of esteem, the directorate of central LYO presented a large portrait of the Rebbe, with a plaque noting its dedication to Reb Dovid, to his son, Rabbi Yitzchok Raskin.
Rabbi Kasriel Kastel, Program director of Tzeirei Agudas Chabad referred to the extraordinary success of the Shluchim in and around New York, who now operate more than 60 flourishing Chabad-Lubavitch centers which show every sign of maintaining their amazing success in the future, too. He made several practical suggestions for further intensifying and expanding their work.
The following speakers were drawn from those who have joined “the Rebbe’s Army” of Shluchim during the past year. One of them, Rabbi Yosef Goldwasser, is the program coordinator for the campaign – headed by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Butman – that arranges for speakers to address many congregations on Shabbos and Yom Tov on themes of Chassidus, including for the famous Tahaluchos, the various large-scale marches to other neighborhoods often held on those occasions.
Rabbi Goldwasser described the hard work involved in contacting every shul and arranging to send them suitable speakers, noting the great success particularly during the past year in which dozens of shuls have been added where speakers go for processions or every week.
Rabbi Yoel Naparstek is active in arranging farbrengens on special festive occasions at kollelim and yeshivos. He described how these introduce a refreshing spirit of vitality into many Torah institutions, and how eagerly these farbrengens are awaited, for they bring the students rich Chassidic perspectives that will continue to illuminate their lives in the future.
Rabbi Yaakov Yisroel Deitsch, son of the unforgettable Chossid Rabbi Zalman Yuda, of blessed memory, has been appointed during the past year as the Shliach in Bronxville, N.Y. and at Sara Lawrence College in Westchester. With characteristic Chassidic enthusiasm, he spoke about the great privilege of being a Shliach of the Rebbe, and related several anecdotes from his activities to illustrate how “we clearly see the Rebbe’s blessings.”
Rabbi Mordechai Hirsch, director of the Mitzvah Tank Office, described the scope of the Mitzvah Tank parades several times a year, the Sukkah-Mobiles on Sukkos, and the tanks that operate every week. He named a long list of shluchim who utilize the tanks to assist their activities with great success in the respective communities under the direct instructions of the Shliach in the area.
Rabbi Hirsch offered Shluchim the opportunity to order one or more tanks, with active crews for any amount of time the Shluchim desire.
In the keynote speech of the evening, Rabbi Manis Friedman, Dean of Bais Chana, in Minnesota, related how he became involved in Shlichus and public lectures. His original inspiration, he said, came from the early “Encounters with Chabad” organized by Tzeirei Agudas Chabad, the Lubavitch Youth Organization.
“When I was a yeshiva student, I don’t think I missed even one lecture of those Encounters. This is what started me off on the path of Shlichus.” In his unique way, Rabbi Friedman explained a special perspective in the term tiferes-sheb’siferes, and how the shluchim connected with this sefira have been granted an exalted privilege. Rabbi Friedman’s unique approach, articulate diction and enjoyable content penetrated deeply into hearts and minds of his audience, providing them with inspiration, encouragement and exalted sensibility, and a reinforced desire to accomplish even more speedily the arrival of the actual Geula.
“It was a gathering permeated with warmth,” said Rabbi Butman. “The deep inspiration of the shluchim, and their renewed dedication to the Rebbe and to fulfilling his shlichus, were clearly palpable.” Many present said proudly that this was a gathering that poignantly expressed Chassidic feeling and warmth.
Indeed, the gathering’s atmosphere was electrifying. It reflected unity and fraternity and, above all, devotion to the Rebbe and his exalted activities. The wonderful evening left a powerful feeling of brotherhood and personal closeness, with firm resolutions by everyone for mutual help and encouragement, and a decision that the coming year will be one of unprecedented momentum devoted entirely to the Rebbe’s activities to prepare the world for the ultimate Geula when the Rebbe will lead us out of exile – may it be immediately and in a manner of l’chat’chila aribber.
The next evening a Farbrengen took place in 770, at which Rabbi Shmuel Butman, Rabbi Kasriel Kastel and Rabbi Yekusiel Feldman spoke.