By Liba Andrusier (Frank), Co-director of Young Israel/Chabad of Pembroke Pines, FL
Rabbi Aaron Eliezer Ceitlin sitting at the head of a large, white, rectangular table in Beis Chana Seminary in Tzfas, surrounded by over 100 girls on a regular school night will always be etched in my memory.
It was close to 18 years ago but I still remember it like it was yesterday.
I’m sure hundreds of other Chabad Seminary and High School girls have the same special memories and can add to my words. Rabbi Ceitlin probably wouldn’t even know what an impact he had on me. Now, married with a family and on Shlichus, I am still inspired by this humble person years later.
He lived for the Rebbe and for Hashem his whole life. There are very few people in this world that lived and breathed Emes and were a true example of being the Rebbe’s Chosid every living second that they were awake, Rabbi Ceitlin was one of them.
Rabbi Ceitlin would farbreng, inspire, encourage us and then always end off by telling us how we need to do more. It was always so warm, positive, full of fire and life. The farbrengen would last for hours.
When it was time for us to sing, Rabbi Ceitlin would encourage us to do so while he walked outside to observe the halacha. When we were done, he’d come in and continue farbrenging. This could have happened a few times during the farbrengen until it was 3 or 4 AM and we needed to go to sleep to be up the next day for classes.
I can’t imagine how the world will be without this giant of a man. One who was a pillar of Chabad, a true Shliach and Chosid of the Rebbe in every cell of his being.
Who will Farbreng like he did for the Seminary girls and inspire them?
Who will replace the smiling, warm Chosid walking down Kingston Ave., with hundreds of Israeli girls during Tishrei looking to be enthused by the Rebbe?
Who will lead the group of Israeli High School girls each year at the Kinus Hashluchos Banquet, sitting up at the balcony with such excitement that was palpable?
Who will go to Shluchim around the world and encourage and inspire them to keep doing what they are doing with such zest and Simcha?
And my last question – What would you tell us now Rabbi Ceitlin – when we are heartbroken that you are not physically here to help us fight the last moments of this hard Galus?
My humble guess would be, that you would tell us we should be B’Simcha- like you always were and keep doing what the Rebbe wanted – like you always did.
To share your memories and stories with Rabbi Ceitlin, visit rebaaronleizer.com