By Rabbi Yisroel Shemtov
This year, on April 12, marks the120th birthday of Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory (1902-1994), the seventh leader in the Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty. He is considered to have been the most phenomenal Jewish personality of modern times. To hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of sympathizers and admirers around the world, he was — and still is, despite his passing — “the Rebbe,” and undoubtedly, the one individual, more than any other, singularly responsible for stirring the conscience and spiritual awakening of world Jewry.
June 23, 1941 the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin (the Rebbe’s wife) arrived in the United States, having been miraculously rescued, by the grace of Almighty G‑d, from the European holocaust. The Rebbe’s arrival marked the launching of sweeping new efforts in bolstering and disseminating Torah and Judaism in general, and Chassidic teachings in particular.
After the passing of his father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, in 1950, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson reluctantly ascended to the leadership of the Chabad movement, whose headquarters are at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York. Soon Chabad institutions and activities took on new dimensions. The outreaching philosophy of Chabad-Lubavitch was translated into ever greater action, as Chabad centers were opened in dozens of cities and university campuses around the world. Today, there are Chabad Centers in over 120 countries and a thousand cities around the world, as well as right here in Vail, servicing the south east cities of Tucson, Green Valley and Sahuarita. There are currently 41 Chabad Rabbis in the state of Arizona.
The holiday of Passover this year is on April 14, in the evening. One of the landmark initiatives that the Rebbe started was that of having Chabad Centers host public Seders around the world.
This year, Chabad of Vail will be hosting a first ever public Seder for the Jewish community. We will discuss the exodus from Egypt, discover the eternal meaning of the Haggadah, enjoy handmade matzah, wine and a wonderful dinner spiced with traditional customs.
Please join Chabad of Vail AZ for the Passover Seder. Visit JewishVailAZ.com/Passover to reserve and for more info.
Portions of this article was taken from Chabad.org
Rabbi Yisroel Shemtov grew up in Brooklyn, NY. After finishing Yeshiva, Rabbi Shemtov went on to becoming or-dained at the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, New Jersey. Rabbi Shemtov has served as a student Rabbi in communities across the world. Including in Bulgaria, Wyoming, South Dakota and California where he has led educational and holiday programs. He has taught children through Torah Tutors, an online Jewish studies plat-form.