Living Legacy DC Conference Launches Tribute to Rebbe’s 120th Birthday [PHOTOS]

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(Via COL)

It was a sight to behold.

Hundreds of Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries and supporters from over 40 states and dozens of countries converged upon the nation’s capital to mark the 120th anniversary of the Rebbe’s birth.

Joining them were more than twenty leaders and members of the House and Senate, an equal number of foreign ambassadors and senior diplomats, academics from the US and overseas, and officials of the White House, State Department and international institutions, including the President of the World Bank, even a Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, who flew over 30 hours to partake in the program.

The attendees marveled at the prestigious locations where events were held, such as the Senate Kennedy Caucus Room, the Library of Congress, and the St. Regis Hotel which is just across from the White House.

The day concluded with a gala reception and banquet in the Presidential Ballroom of the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

Among the prominent speakers and guests were Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) of the Senate Republican Leadership, and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Rick Scott (R-FL), and House members Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Michelle Steel (R- CA), Dusty Johnson (R-SD) Chuck Fleischmann (D-TN), John Yarmuth (D-KY) and others.

After being introduced by International Collections Director Eugene Flanigan and Professor Greenberg of American University, the Living Legacy Tribute Lecture was offered by Rabbi Dr. Naftali Loewenthal of University College, London, and Hon. Marcus Solomon, Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

The international diplomatic luncheon, attended by numerous ambassadors and diplomats, featured Hon. David Malpass, President of the World Bank, Mrs. Chanie Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cybersecurity and Emerging Threats, and Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, Chair of the US Holocaust Memorial Council and who served in many senior positions at the White House, Departments of Commerce, State and Treasury, as well as Ambassador of the US to the European Union. The invocation was offered by Kiev’s Chief Rabbi and Shliach, Rav Yonatan Markovitch.

After caucuses and sessions for the attendees covering Education and Sharing Day and The Rebbe on Social Responsibility, and other topics, everyone headed to the Presidential Ballroom at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, for the gala reception and banquet, where prominent community figures mingled with newsmakers, military officers, and friends, all who came to participate in this wonderful and memorable event.

The program, chaired by Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Executive Vice President of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) included remarks and addresses by Rabbi Yehuda Tiechtal of Berlin, who gave a riveting account of the efforts there for the refugees from Ukraine. Keynote addresses were offered by human rights champion Mr. Natan Sharansky, who spoke of Chabad and Shluchim as the Internet of Jews before there was an internet, and legendary Senator Joseph Lieberman, who mentioned how through the efforts of Chabad-Lubavitch around the world, the Rebbe, like Moshe Rabbeinu, will not weaken after his passing and his spirit will live on well beyond 120. Jewish music superstar Avraham Fried then capped the evening with a remarkable performance of the Rebbe’s niggunim, whereupon the hall erupted into spirited dancing.

The banquet was opened by Mrs. Nechama Shemtov, Director of Women’s Issues and Education for American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad), the invocation was offered by shliach to Tokyo, Japan, Rabbi Mendel Sudakevitch, as well as remarks from Rabbi Menachem Shemtov, Shliach to Georgetown in Washington, DC, as well as youth leader and student Zach Singerman and Isabella Levy of Princeton.

The Mayberg Fellows, a student component of the program, was organized by Rabbi Shua and Esti Hecht, in cooperation with Chabad on Campus International Foundation, with support from Rabbi Menachem and Racheli Shemtov of Georgetown, Rabbi Yitzi and Shana Ceitlin of Chabad East DC, and Rabbi Eli Shemtov.

A fitting kickoff for Shnas Meah Ve’esrim!

13 COMMENTS

  1. Lubavitchers start saying the Rebbe’s, OBM next kepital (chapter) of Psalms (121) for ‘his upcoming year’ next week: 11 Nissan, which corresponds with the anniversary of his Hebrew birthday.

  2. Aren’t birthdays normally celebrated for people who are considered alive?

    It is interesting how Chabadniks are celebrating the Rebbe’s birthday, but they never seem to be celebrating Rashi’s birthday, Rambam’s birthday, Ramban’s birthday etc.

  3. @rightjew

    No, its not that interesting. The Rebbe is our (lubavitchers) personal spiritual leader; Rashi is not.

    That’s why litvishers seem to visit the kevarim of gedolei hador but I suspect that you don’t even know where rashi and rambam are buried.

    BTW, cgabadniks celebrate the Rambams yartzeit every year with farbrengens and hachlatos. Do you even know when the rambams yartzeit is?

  4. Yechi,

    The exact location of Rashi’s kever in Troyes, France is unknown but the Rambam’s kever in Teveria is frequently visited, especially on 20 Teves, his yahrtzeit. Litvaks will visit the kever of a gadol to be a meilitz yosher, not because they consider the niftar to be their “personal spiritual leader”.

    Do you believe the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt”l, was niftar almost twenty-eight years ago? Do you also believe that Rashi and the Rambam were both greater than he was? If so, why is he your “personal spiritual leader” while these Rishonim are not? Please answer without the flip Chabad circular logic of “If you have to ask then you don’t know what a Rebbe is”.

  5. The lubavitcher rebbe actually did celebrate the rambams birthday which is on erev peasach. Look up your info.
    In addition, he held that birthdays of tzadilim continue to have significance even after their passing like 7 adar for moshe rabbeinu.

  6. @Gadolhadofi

    Although you probably don’t know what a Rebbe, and that’s likely the reason you have to ask, I’m still going to give you a more explanatory answer.

    I do believe the Rebbe passed away, and, as a Lubavitcher, who learns and believes the Rebbe’s words, believe that his presence is here more than in his physical lifetime and that he is intimately involved in the lives of all his chassidim including me. Why do I believe this? Because that’s what the Rebbe told us about the Rayatz after he passed away. I’m not going to give you maare mekomos because I suspect you won’t bother to check them out.

    Bottom line is, were different. We do things a little different and have different understandings of some matters, but we have the same creator and Torah, and there’s no reason to fight or bash. Freilichen pesach.

  7. All sorts of wicked people and goyim gathering together under one roof to “celebrate the rebbe’s birthday;” this event was one big chilul hashem.

    This event was not tznius and shouldnt have happened.

    lubavitchers must publicly state that their Rebbe is no longer alive and thus cannot be Moshiach, otherwise they are no different from the Christians…

  8. Yechi,

    I don’t mean to fight or bash but please answer the following: do you believe that Rashi and the Rambam were both greater than he was? If so, why is he your “personal spiritual leader” while these Rishonim are not?

  9. Gadohadofi,
    if ywn didn’t have a user confidentiality policy, I would be more than happy to have a more elaborate discussion with you on email, but an article comment section just isn’t the right place for this. People will misunderstand things and there simply isn’t enough leeway to get the right words out and the idea across. Maybe the coffeeeoom but that also hasn’t worked in the past.

  10. The Rebbe himself addresses this point in several places – see for example Likkutei Sichos vol. 24, p. 178 and on. There the Rebbe explains that annual public celebration on the day that a Tzadik was born is not common, and is a Chidush that the previous Lubavitcher Rebbeim (the Rashab and the Rayatz) introduced regarding the 18th of Elul (Chai Elul), the birthday of both the Baal Shem Tov and the Baal HaTanya – by considering it a Yom Tov and actually saying “Gut Yom Tov.” He goes on to explain the connection between this Chidush and the effect of introducing Chassidus which the Baal Shem Tov did, and Chassidus Chabad which the Baal HaTanya did.

    The Rebbe himself often held annual public Farbrengens on Chai Elul – in honor of the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov and the Baal HaTanya, 9 Kislev – in honor of the birthday of the Mitteler Rebbe (the 2nd Chabad Rebbe – as well as his Yartzeit, since he passed away on the same day he was born), 29 Elul – in honor of the birthday of the Tzemach Tzedek (the 3rd Chabad Rebbe), 2 Iyar – in honor of the birthday of the Rebbe Maharash (the 4th Chabad Rebbe), 20 Cheshvan – in honor of the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab (the 5th Chabad Rebbe), and 12 Tammuz – in honor of the birthday of the Rebbe Rayatz (the 6th Chabad Rebbe).
    Based on the explanation in the above Likkutei Sichos, one can understand why the Rebbe would publicly celebrate these birthdays – of Chassidic Rebbeim – more than he would publicly celebrate the birthdays of Rashi and the Rambam (and all of the rest of the Rishonim etc).

    The fact that there are various Jewish communities that have Minhagim that are different from those of other Jewish communities – is extremely common, in many different areas. All authentic Minhagei Yisroel of any Jewish community are very holy and special.

    I hope this peacefully and respectfully helps to answer the question. Every Yid is precious, and every one of you should be blessed!