By COLlive reporter
Hungarian President Pal Schmitt held a reception Wednesday at the Presidential Palace for Chabad official Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky from Brooklyn, New York.
The Vice Chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch was in Budapest for a 2 day visit to the Jewish community and its institutions, including the historic Obuda synagogue he helped reopen.
Kotlarsky was accompanied to the Sandor Palace by the local Chabad Shluchim Rabbi Shlomo Koves, Rabbi Shmuel Raskin and Rabbi Shmuel Glitsenstein. (Head Shliach Rabbi Boruch Oberlander was out of town).
In a meeting that lasted over an hour, the President thanked Rabbi Kotlarsky for supporting the local Jewish causes and for the generosity of philanthropist George Rohr towards the Obuda shul.
Kotlarsky in response mentioned the long history of Jews in the Eastern European country and the importance of sustaining the community after the Holocaust.
President Schmitt took great interest, Glitsenstein told COLlive.com, in the activities of Chabad worldwide and inquired what was the “secret” to its success.
Rabbi Kotlarsky answered with a story how the Rebbe received a visit from a Jewish Federation official, who took out a pen and paper asking the Rebbe what he can do to help Jews.
“The Rebbe’s reply was, your job is to look into the mirror every morning and ask yourself, are you the same man, with the same amount of accomplishments, you saw yesterday. If not, you have not fulfilled your purpose,” Kotlarsky said.
The President ended the meeting saying, “my door is always open to Rabbi Koves and the rabbis of Chabad.”