When one thinks about Crown Heights, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me it’s the Rebbe, Lubavitchers and of course 770.
I am Lubavitch but not from here, while I wish sometimes I was. To be frank, I am quite jealous of all you born and bred Crown Heightsers. I don’t think everyone here realizes where they live. You were raised in the Shchuna of the Rebbe. Even if you’ve never actually “seen” the Rebbe in person, you’re living where the Rebbe lives. This is where it is at.
I am a firm believer that a chossid takes the Rebbe with him wherever he goes, as Rabbi Butman explained this past Motzoei Shabbos. The Rebbe is wherever a chossid brings him, but the fact that one can actually always be surrounded by “Rebbe” is amazing.
I have to consciously make an effort every time I go anywhere to remember I am a chosid of the Rebbe (and B”H for that I love it!) but in Crown Heights it is always a reminder.
I am lucky that I get to pass the Rebbe’s house every single day and every time I pass it, I stop and think to myself, I am in the place the Rebbe lived. My Rebbe that guides me, teaches me. The Rebbe that I love, walked these very streets every day. This is the most incredible thing.
Another thing that I love about Crown Heights is the atmosphere. It’s always hopping, moving, going, doing, helping, talking, learning – everything. They’re running to minyan, to learn, tzedaka, managing a seforim store or any store for that matter. A yid should never sit still for a minute and should always be doing something productive.
And there are all sorts of people in Crown Heights. Lubavitchers with all different backgrounds and different personalities. It’s not all one “cookie cutter” type which is very refreshing. Different types of people all doing what Hashem wants.
Lastly what I love about Crown Heights, and probably my favorite, thing is 770 – the Rebbe’s shul.
There is just something about 770 that gets me every time I go. I go as often as I can and each time I go it’s just as amazing as the first. To sit in Beis Rabbeinu and learn, daven, cry or talk is a feeling of reassurance, happiness, completeness and of love.
While many people may disagree, I think it’s all about perspective. I focus on the positivity in 770. The learning, the davening, the Hiskashrus to the Rebbe, that’s what I see in 770.
Crown Heights is the center of it all. It is where the Rebbe is and it’s a place we can all call home. Appreciate all that we have because it truly is special. Ashreinu.
Come to think of it, I think it’s better that I don’t live here, that way I appreciate even more all that Crown Heights has to offer and makes it special.