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This Morning at Starbucks

Friday, 12 July, 2019 - 3:09 pm

This Morning at Starbucks

I started my day at Starbucks at 6:30 AM, studying Torah with a good friend. One of the ideas we discussed helped me process an amazing experience I had last weekend.

About 7,500 people spent last Shabbat in close proximity to the Ohel of the Rebbe, marking his 25th Yahrzeit. It was a Shabbat filled with learning, prayer, discussion and warm camaraderie.

It's hard to believe that it’s been so long since his passing, because he feels more present now, than ever before. The amount of centers around the world, opened in response to his call, has doubled since then, as did the amount of men and women dedicated to this sacred mission. While the number of Jews and non-Jews impacted by his teachings and example, numbers in the millions.

This morning, David and I discussed that the name of this week’s Torah reading is Chukat. Its meaning is also , “chiseling” or “engraving.” A letter chiseled into a block of stone (like on the two tablets) is part and parcel of that stone, not a second entity grafted onto it, as is the case with a letter written with ink on parchment or paper. The engraved letter cannot be erased from the stone, at least not without damaging the stone, the connection between the letter and the stone is permanent.

Our relationship with G-d should be, not only like two entities attached to each other, but actually ‘written in stone’. Then, regardless of the circumstances, it cannot be undone.

I think more than anything else, the Rebbe exemplified a life, where a Jew and G-d are not two separate entities, but one and the same, it is our very life itself. When you achieve that, you can be a proud, observant Jew in Russia under communism, in Anchorage, Houston or Salt Lake City, just like you can be in Brooklyn or Jerusalem.


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