By COLlive reporter
Photos by Alex Gorokhov
Nearly 200 people from New York’s Russian Jewish community gathered to pray for the safety of Israel at the Rebbe’s Ohel in Queens at a special gathering organized by Chamah and Lubavitch Youth Organization.
Tehillim and prayers for the safety of Israel were led by Chamah Directors, Rabbis Hillel Zaltzman, Moshiach Chudaitov and Binyomin Malachovski.
They were joined by Rabbi Kasriel Kastel, Program Director of Lubavitch Youth Organization, Rabbi Dovid Okunov of FREE of Brighton Beach and Rabbi Eli Blokh of Chabad of Rego Park.
Rabbi Benzion Laskin, Program Director of Chamah emceed the event, and spoke passionately about the Rebbe’s unequaled ahavas Yisrael, especially his concern for Russian Jewry.
Rabbi Moshe Chaim Levin, shliach to Kensington, spoke strongly about the Rebbe’s vision concerning shleimus haaretz, followed by a special video presentation marking 20 years since Gimmel Tamuz.
For many, it was their very first visit to the ohel.
One individual, however, came to thank the Rebbe for blessings that he had received 45 years prior. Upon arriving to the shores of the U.S. as an immigrant from the Soviet Union, one of his first stops was 770. The Rebbe gave him very heartfelt brochos for success and for the welfare of his family. He said that those blessings had been fulfilled to the utmost, and that even these many years later he felt he needed to express his gratitude.
For many, the program clearly brought out many strong emotions. Afterwards, a number of participants praised the event, expressed their gratitude for the experience, and their hopes that their prayers would be answered.