Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Remarkable Photos of The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe

Purkersdorf , Austria, 1935.

Yud Tes Kislev (the “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidus”) marks the release of the Alter Rebbe (first Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi) from Czarist imprisonment. With his trail and unequivocal vindication, the official green light was given to his teaching of Chassidism, reflecting Heaven’s approval of their dissemination. Immediately thereafter, the wellsprings of the Baal Shem Tov’s teachings began to be spread in earnest, preparing the world for Moshiach.

In honor of the auspicious date, the Avner Institute is pleased to present two remarkable photos of the Previous (sixth) Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn – courtesy of the Rebbe Archive; with special thanks to Yechi Ezagui.

The photos were taken during the month of Adar, 1935, in Purkersdorf, Austria.

We have also included two quotes from the Rebbe, on (a) the study of Chassidus; and (b) the nature of a Chassid (special thanks to Sichos In English).

Good Yom Tov.

What is a Chassid?

Dr. David Weiss has achieved world renown for his work in cancer research. Although he came from an observant home, his involvement in American culture presented him with many challenges. His encounters with the Chassidim and the philosophy of Lubavitch helped him overcome these hurdles.

Once while at Yechidus with the Rebbe, he asked him if he could consider himself a chassid. "I am attracted to the chassidic way of life," he explained, "but can never see myself donning a black hat or chassidic garb. Does this disqualify me?"

The Rebbe responded, "When a Jew endeavors to take a step forward in the service of G-d and the love of his fellow man every day, I am happy to consider him my chassid." This is the thrust of this chapter: to share examples of how the Rebbe has personally encouraged people to advance in Jewish practice”

Why is Chassidus So Important?

“In the first years of the Rebbe's leadership, during the farbrengen of Purim 1953, the Rebbe told one of the participants to study Chassidus. The person voiced his hesitation; he had never been trained in this system of thought, nor did he understand how this study would contribute to his personal development.

The Rebbe replied with a rhetorical question: "When you board a train, do you fully comprehend its precise mechanical functioning?

"When a passenger sits in the coach, whether he understands how it works or not - the train crew will perform their task, and the train will transport its travelers to their desired destinations”

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