By COLlive reporter
Photos by Chaim Tovito
An honorary key to a southern region in Israel was brought to the Rebbe’s Ohel in Queens, NY and later placed in the Agudas Chassidei Chabad Library in Brooklyn this past Thursday.
The key was personally brought to the United States by Dov Litvinoff, Mayor of the Tamar Regional Council, located on the south and western edges of the Dead Sea along the Arava valley.
Litvinoff was joined by the council’s treasurer Erez Badash and Rabbi Shimon Elharar, Director of Chabad of Dead Sea-Masada which was founded in 2004 to serve locals and the many tourists to the region.
Their visit began in the Rebbe’s room at Lubavitch World Headquarters – 770 Eastern Parkway where they prayed Shachris and met Rabbi Leibel Groner, the Rebbe’s secretary.
Rabbi Groner thanked them for the gesture and recalled how many mayors would bring an honorary key to their city. The Rebbe saw this is an important spiritual act, he said, that by giving the key they are transferring spiritual ownership.
The Dead Sea officials then went to the 788 office building to meet with Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky and Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, chairman and vice chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Chabad overseeing the Shlichus network.
Accompanied by Rabbi Groner, the officials went to the Rebbe’s Ohel in Cambria Heights. “In the name of the residents of the Dead Sea region, I came to bring you the key in my position of head of the council and I request the Rebbe’s blessings,” Litvinoff said.
Noting that the area was the location of the biblical evil city of Sodom, Rabbi Elharar stated his pledge “to develop Jewish matters.” At the conclusion, they returned to Crown Heights to deliver the key to the Chabad library for safe keeping. They also visited the Jewish Children’s Museum.