By COLlive staff
It’s not an easy time in Albany, the capitol of the State of New York. The Budget was not passed yet and state legislators are hurrying from meeting to meeting and from committee to committee. But when a celebration was being held for the Rebbe, they found time to participate.
Rabbi Shmuel Butman, Director of Lubavitch Youth Organization, came to Albany to mark the Rebbe’s 113th birthday on the 11th of Nissan, an annual tradition.
Rabbi Butman said that when the Rebbe speaks about education, it is the education of all children regardless of race, religion, color or creed. The Rebbe emphasized that the children should be taught that there is “An eye that sees and an ear that hears,” he said.
He 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.”
Assemblyman Sheldon Silver greeted the legislators and staffs, presented the Assembly Resolution and said that he saw first hand the scope of the Rebbe’s activities in his travels overseas. “Wherever I traveled I saw the Rebbe’s work.”
A proclamation announcing “113 Days of Education” in honor of the Rebbe was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and both houses of the New York State legislature, the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate.
Jewish community activist Abe Eisner had the honor of reading the proclamation, and Rabbi Yisroel Rubin, Head Shliach of Albany, spoke about the scope of the Rebbe’s activities all over the world. “The Rebbe worried about everyone,” he noted.
Rabbi Butman later delivered an invocation to the State Assembly and State Senate, during which he quoted from Tehilim Perek 113 about the greatness of G-d who “Raises up the poor out of the dust and lifts the needy up from the ash heap, seating them with the nobles, the nobles of His People.”
He recalled with reverence that before he opened the U.S. 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.”
In accordance to this directive, Rabbi Butman brought a Pushka with him to Albany. He placed a dollar bill in it and asked the legislators to join him in doing a Mitzvah.
“This is not a fund-raising campaign,” he joked. “For if it was, we would ask you for much more than one dollar… this is part of the Rebbe’s campaign to do mere goodness and kindness.”
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 brought with him Shmurah Matzoh from Brooklyn, which he distributed to the legislators. “The Rebbe wants that every Jew should have Shmurah Matzoh for Pesach,” he said.