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My Rebbe, My Urim Vetumim!

Wednesday, 8 April, 2020 - 11:36 am

With a kid or two in tow, I hit the road this week to deliver Matzah to 250+ homes. The kids didn’t leave the car, but with gloves, and mask if needed, I walked up to door after to door and left a box of Shemura Matzah for my Jewish brothers and sisters. We all have some level of anxiety and uncertainty these days. I’ve watched tens of elderly role models from my native Crown Heights community perish of this dreaded disease, while too many others continue to fight for their life, but while delivering Matzah with the kiddos favorite Nissim Black or Mordechai Shapiro music blasting, there’s no news, no reports, no Dr. Fauci or Governor Cuomo, it’s just me, Passover and my Jewish family.

In this week’s Torah portion, Tzav, we read about the Urim VeTumim, a parchment etched with G-d’s name, placed behind the breastplate of the High Priest. When the Jewish people were in doubt, when the leaders of Jewry found themselves uncertain about the right path forward, the High Priest’s breastplate, which had the names of the twelve tribes engraved on it, would give them answers. How so? Certain letters would shine, allowing the High Priest to combine the brightened letters and form words that gave answers.  Hence, why It was named Urim VeTumim, as Urim means illumination and Tumim means complete; it would give them light in times of darkness, clarity in times of confusion.

This Sunday, the 11th of Nissan is the 118th birthday of my Rebbe of blessed memory. The Rebbe was, and is, my Urim VeTumim. No, he didn’t wear the Temple vestments and he wasn’t a Kohen, but he served as a guiding light of clarity even during universal turbulence. Whether during the Pogroms in Ukraine or the Gulf War in the Middle East, whether while living in Vichy in the early 40’s or in Brooklyn in the 90’s, whether in response to the King of Morocco or to the parents of a little baby named Chaim born at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital in 1981, the Rebbe shined light. G-d gifted me, and you, with a Moses who is an “Island of Calm” during tough times and with Divine wisdom was able to provide us with the same. When I’m scared, I get close to my Urim VeTumim, and it illuminates the darkness, big time.

Happy birthday Rebbe!  

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Mashiach speedily. May G-d protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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