By COLlive reporter
English haredi weekly Mishpacha Magazine features in its Sukkos edition what they say is “an unprecedented interview” with Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky of Crown Heights.
Krinsky, who they describe as “perhaps the most powerful person in the contemporary Chabad movement,” gave an extensive interview to their writer Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter .
The article is billed as “a rare window into the famed Chabad Headquarters at 770, and the 40 years he spent as the personal assistant of the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l.”
“Every second was a new adventure,” Krinsky says, and his fascinatingly vivid memories and riveting stories reflect the unusual scope and nature of his position. Rabbi Krinsky reflects on the mission that the Rebbe entrusted to his Chassidim, and decried those who seek to distort his legacy.
COLlive.com was given exclusive excerpts.
The Rebbe’s family:
“The Rebbe had no children, he had no brothers and sisters, he had no family. The Rebbe was alone. He could have said, ‘Kinderlach, I no longer have strength; fend for yourselves. Go, you can do it by yourselves. I no longer have time.’ But the Rebbe didn’t do that.”
Moshiach and messianism:
“The proclaiming of the Rebbe as Mashiach is contrary to the Rebbe’s will without question. They’re a very small group, but they can be loud. Like the clatter created by a few coins in an empty can that make a lot of noise. The Rebbe’s words are being distorted.”
On the secretarial work:
“Sensing that perhaps the task may seem daunting to a young, new mazkir, the Rebbe softly said, ‘Type the letter, start from the beginning, follow word by word, line by line, and you will see that at the end it will all will work out.’ I realized that the Rebbe had just offered me not merely technical advice, but fatherly counsel and a lesson for life.”
Working with the Rebbe:
“In all my years I served the Rebbe, I never took anything for granted and I never did anything by rote. Every single day, every time you knocked on the Rebbe’s door, was a new adventure, and when you turned the doorknob to go in after he buzzed you in, there was an excitement every single time.”
The Rebbe’s character traits:
“I wouldn’t dare try to analyze the Rebbe’s mind and heart — they’re too vast. But I would venture to say that in the Rebbe’s humanity every single individual, young and old, was a complete world.”
“We received the news that all was over on Friday late morning. With the world watching, with our shluchim around the world devastated, I knew we needed to make a statement. The press had by that time converged on our offices … I sat down and tried to put together the few words that you ultimately heard.”