By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz, who is visiting New York this week despite his battle with ALS disease, spent Monday morning visiting cherished locations in his native Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn.
The 47-year-old Rabbi who lost his mobility due to the disease was brought to Lubavitch Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway to join the davening at the Rebbe’s room for the first time in years.
It was a particularly moving moment when his youngest son Sholom Hurwitz was called up to receive an aliya to the Torah in honor of his Bar Mitzvah.
Rabbi Yitzi emotionally looked on as his eldest son Moishy Hurwitz received an Aliya as well.
Rabbi Yitzi was born and raised in Crown Heights and founded Chabad in Temecula, CA, with his wife Dina Hurwitz 23 years ago.
In recent years he has been battling ALS, and moved with his family to Los Angeles to receive medical care.
Since becoming bed-ridden, this was the first time he was able to visit New York, with the help of Hatzolah Air and a team of friends and the Vaad of Shluchim who coordinate his medical care.
Following his son’s Bar Mitzvah celebration on Motzei Shabbos and visiting the Rebbe’s Ohel in Queens on Sunday, Rabbi Yitzi was taken around some of the familiar Crown Heights spots from his childhood, with his long-time friend Naftali Berkowitz.
In addition to the Rebbe’s room, they visited the WLCC Broadcasting room, the Rebbe’s Library, and the main Shul of 770 Eastern Parkway. Rabbi Yitzi also got the chance to stroll down Kingston Avenue accompanied by his wife and children.
The two friends visited their old bus stop on Kingston Avenue and reminisced how they would stand together at the corner of Montgomery Street and Kingston Avenue each morning at 6:45 am to wait for the bus to take them to Lubavitch Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway.
The two posed for a photo in front of Berkowitz’s childhood home, where he still lives with his family today.
“We got a chance to spend a moment in the place we spent so many hours, for so many years, hanging out together,” Berkowitz said. “This was a very special gift,” he added.
To donate to Rabbi Yitzi’s medical costs, visit hurwitzfamilyfund.com