By COLlive reporter
Both editions of Mishpacha magazine, the English published in New York and the Hebrew published in Israel, dedicated their issue this week to the Rebbe on his 20th yartzeit this Tuesday, Gimmel Tammuz.
“His chassidim and admirers the world over will stop for a moment to reflect on the Rebbe’s enormous accomplishments — and then they’ll get back to work, energized by the Rebbe’s words, inspired by his example, and motivated by his vision, even two decades later,” the editors wrote.
In the feature article titled “The Rebbe’s Tomorrow,” Yisroel Besser writes that the Rebbe “inspired untold numbers of people through his farbrengens, correspondence (he received more mail daily than anyone else in the U.S. besides the president), and personal audiences.”
He visited Lubavitch Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway and spoke to Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky and Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, respectively Chairman and Vice Chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Chabad that oversees the Shlichus network.
“Both rabbis, Krinsky and Kotlarsky, are too busy to speculate, too busy to engage in what-if’s and if-only’s. They forge on in the absence of their Rebbe, continuing to derive inspiration from so many memories, and from the vibrant present,” Besser writes.
“By the Rebbe everything was significant, so it’s hard to say which part of his avodah was more important to him, but we did see something interesting,” said Rabbi Krinsky, who served as the Rebbe’s secretary.
“In his last years, he started to make an order in the massive piles of seforim that covered his desk, sending many of them to the library to be cataloged. He slowly, systematically, removed each of the many seforim, and at the end, there was only one set left, it was the Sefer Hashluchim, the complete resource of all the shluchim in the world, which included the names of their children and a list of their activities.”
In an accompanying article, Besser spoke to the staff of Jewish Educational Media (JEM) who hold Chabad’s audio, video and photographic archive and production house.
Yechiel Cagen, director of an ambitious project called “My Encounter with the Rebbe,” has in the last 10 years collected over 940 interviews and over 15,000 pages of transcripts of people from all walks of life who’ve willingly shared their personal encounters in front of the camera.
It’s a race against time. “Many of the people who had the longer, in-depth conversations with the Rebbe in the 1940s, ’50s, and even ’60s — are no longer alive,” Cagen said.
The Hebrew Mishpacha interviewed Rabbi Zalman Gopin, Mashpia of the Central Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch in Kfar Chabad, about how Chabad lives on 20 years after Gimmel Tammuz and whether the popularity of Chassidus doesn’t affect the quality.
They also spoke to Rabbi Leibel Groner, the Rebbe’s secretary, about he slept near the phone for 40 years in case he will get an urgent call and the preparations the Rebbe made leading up to 3 Tammuz 5754.