Jews and the Government

The saintly Rabbi Yisroel, the famed Ruzhiner Tzaddik – Rabbi Yisroel Friedman – was born in the year 1796 in Pszedborsz, near Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine province. His father Rabbi Sholom Shachne was a son of Rabbi Avrohom known as the “Malach” (Angel), the son of the Mezritcher Maggid, Rabbi Dov Ber (successor to the Baal Shem Tov). In 1838, Rabbi Yisroel was denounced as a “rebel” against the Czar, and was imprisoned in Kiev and, later, in Kamenetz-Podolsk, for almost two years.

When he was temporarily released on Shushan-Purim 1840, he managed to escape Russia. He eventually settled in the Town of Sadigora, Austria, continuing his leadership of his followers until his passing in 1850.
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“Rebbe, I need a hug!”

I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia and despite the fact that I grew up going to a Jewish school with Jewish friends, the extent of my family’s observance was making kiddush on Friday nights and attending Pesach seders.

 We also went to shul for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and that’s about it.
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The Rebbe saved her life!

There was a young kallah (bride) from a Satmar family who, as her wedding day approached, wanted to go to the Rebbe for a bracha (blessing). Her family members tried to dissuade her from going (as they were not followers of the Rebbe and in some cases very much against the Chabad ideology) but she was adamant.

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The Rebbe Will Find A Way

It was a long summer Friday.* My neighbor, who lives a block away from me in crown heights, decided to go to the Ohel of the Rebbe and help put on Tefillin with people. Many people were coming and going. as he stood close to the information desk, he noticed a group of young man coming over to speak to the person behind the desk.

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The Hug I So Desperately Needed

I am originally from Melbourne, Australia and despite the fact that the overall community is traditional, I grew up with minimal Jewish exposure. I would have wine and challah on Friday nights, attend Pesach seders, and go to Shul for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but that was the extent of my involvement with Yiddishkeit (Judaism).

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The Annonymous Esrog Donor

Rabbi Mendel Altein* is following in the footsteps of his ancestors. His great grandfather, the renowned Chassidic teacher and mentor, Rabbi Yisroel Jacobson** provided the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe with an etrog for the Holiday of Sukkot when he arrived on the shores of America the first time in 1929.

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