By COLlive reporter
Photos: Itzik Roytman/COLlive
Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and an attorney for President Donald Trump, paid a visit on Thursday to the Ohel, the holy gravesite of the Rebbe in Cambria Heights, Queens.
Giuliani said he was grateful for the opportunity to say a prayer at the gravesite of the Rebbe whom he had the honor of meeting “several times,” and from whom he received blessings when he ran for mayor, and “some very good advice.”
He was met there by Rabbi Shea Hecht, Chairman of the NCFJE organization; Mrs. Devorah Halberstam, an NYPD liaison and co-founder of the Jewish Children’s Museum; Rabbi Sholom Dubov, Director of Chabad of Greater Orlando in Florida; and Ukraine Chief Rabbi Moshe Asman.
Giuliani was accompanied by Chele Farley, the Republican candidate for the New York senate seat, and privately met with Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chairman of Chabad’s educational services, Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch.
After handwriting notes for blessings, the group prayed at the Ohel, a site that attracts thousands of Jews and non-Jews from around the world. They recited a prayer for the 11 victims of the anti-Semitic shooting in Pittsburgh this past Shabbos.
“He was a great religious leader, for the Jewish people and for everyone in New York and the world,” Giuliani said of the Rebbe, following the prayer. “I can’t think of a more appropriate place to come than here, after the terrible things that happened in Pittsburgh.”
He said he came to “demonstrate that it was an attack on everyone, not just on the people who died who were buried today. It was an attack on Jewish people all over the world, because the murderer who did it said he did it solely because they were Jewish.”
He added, “it was also an attack on all of us, all Americans who believe in freedom of religion… who believe that people should not be singled out because of their religion to be harmed. We need peace now and we need unity and healing, and I think coming to Rabbi Schneerson is the perfect way to do that.”
Giuliani noted that he also stopped at the gravesite of Ari Halberstam “who died shortly after I became Mayor, in a terrorist attack…solely because he was Jewish. Anyone sacrificed because of their religion is a very horrible crime against humanity and against what America stands for,” he said.
Also present were Rabbi Yossi and Chani Garelik of Crown Heights; activist Dr. Joe Frager, Duvi Honig, Founder and CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce; Crown Heights activist Yaacov Behrman and others.
“We’ve got to do something about the anti-Semitism that is on the rise,” Farley said. “This is the first year that there has been an anti-Semitic attack in every state, that’s got to end. This is a harsh reminder of just how bad things can get.
“I will always be a strong supporter of Israel,” Farley continued. “We were in Israel in May for the Embassy being moved to Jerusalem, which I support, and I was there when President Trump pulled out of the Iran deal, which I also support. We’ve got to make sure that the United States is the strongest ally to Israel as possible.”
Rabbi Shea Hecht mentioned that the meeting was really all about unity, and said it is comforting after the attack in Pittsburgh, that Jews and non-Jews were gathering together to pray.
“Giuliani to us, is the face of anti-terrorism, and we know that if he is involved, he will watch our back, literally,” Rabbi Hecht said. “We really need change, unfortunately there are many public officials who care about public opinion and politics before safety.”
Hecht said many hope that our elected officials will assure our security, and want to know we have a “stronger government protecting us, no matter what religion we practice or what color we are; that we are going to be protected by our government.”
Farley, who is running on the Republican, Conservative and Reform ticket, is hoping to unseat opponent Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who Farley says supported the Iran Nuclear Deal and wouldn’t support legislation to outlaw BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel.