By COLlive reporter
It’s never quiet in Albany, the capital of the State of New York. The state legislators hurry from meeting to meeting and from committee to committee. But for the celebration for the Rebbe, they found time.
Both houses of the legislature, the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate, gathered to proclaim “114 Days of Education” in honor of the Rebbe.
Governor Andrew Cuomo sent his Executive Assistant Marc Weprin to personally deliver his proclamation issued for Tuesday, the 11th of Nissan.
“The Governor is proud to make the proclamation in honor of the Rebbe and he sends his best wishes to the Lubavitch movement,” Weprin said.
Rabbi Shmuel Butman, Director of Lubavitch Youth Organization, offered words of welcome to the members of the New York State Legislature, their associates and their staff.
Rabbi Butman noted that when the Rebbe speaks about education, he talks about the education of all children regardless of race, religion, color or creed.
“The Rebbe emphasized that the children should be taught that that there is ‘An eye that sees and an ear and that hears and that the world is not a jungle’,” Rabbi Butman said.
Rabbi Butman also stressed what the Rebbe said that we live in the last generation of exile and the first generation of redemption and we can bring the Redemption even closer through more deeds of “Goodness and kindness.”
Rabbi Yisroel Rubin, the Shliach of the Rebbe in Albany and vicinity, overseeing many Chabad Houses, spoke about the scope of the Rebbe’s activities all over the world. “The Rebbe worried about everyone.”
Assemblyman Dov Hikind greeted the legislators and staffs and presented the Assembly Resolution that he passed.
Assemblyman Hikind spoke eloquently –at the reception and from the Assembly floor– about the great contribution of the Rebbe to this generation.
The Senate resolution was passed and presented by Senator Jesse Hamilton, a close friend of the Jewish community in Crown Heights.
“I am proud to represent Crown Heights and to pass the resolution in honor of the Rebbe,” he said.
In opening the house, Rabbi Butman recalled with reverence that before he opened the United States Senate in Washington in 1991, the Rebbe told him “Take a Pushka (charity box) with you and let everyone see what you are doing and let them know on what money should be spent for.”
In accordance to this directive, Rabbi Butman brought a Pushka with him to Albany. During his prayers he offered a dollar bill in the Pushka.
“This is not a fund-raising campaign, for if it were we would ask you for much more than one dollar,” he said. “This is part of the Rebbe’s campaign to do more goodness and kindness.”
It was most interesting to see how members of both houses of the New York State Legislature lined up after the prayer to offer their own dollar in the charity box as an act of goodness and kindness.
Rabbi Butman also brought with him from Brooklyn Shmurah Matzoh for to the legislators, noting that “the Rebbe wants that every Jew should have Shmurah Matzoh for Pesach.”
Assemblyman Hikind took the floor of the Assembly to address the Rebbe’s contribution to our generation. “While he is not with us physically, we learn from the Rebbe how to be inclusive and non-judgmental,” he said.
Assemblyman Hikind told a personal story about his mother, a Holocaust survivor. While they were passing near the Lubavitch headquarters on a Shabbos morning they saw the Rebbe coming.
“The Rebbe personally walked over to my mother and said to her ‘Gut Shabbos’. My mother remembered that all her life.”
The speech by Assemblyman Dov Hikind was widely broadcasted by many media networks.