By COLlive reporter
Photos: Priceless Reflections
A crowd of over 300 people across the metropolitan Phoenix area turned out for an evening of inspiration marking the 20th anniversary of Gimmel Tammuz and the lasting impact of the Rebbe.
Titled “Timeless Leadership,” the event was a combined effort of all Chabad centers in the area and succeeded in bringing together Jewish people from a range of backgrounds and communities.
“The Rebbe wants that each and every one of us reach out to another. If you know Alef, you should teach that to someone else,” said Rabbi Zalman Levertov, Director of Chabad in Arizona.
Rabbi Levertov explained that the Rebbe was not satisfied with only Shluchim teaching others; the Rebbe empowered people to teach their friends, co-workers and family, by sharing a Jewish thought or mitzvah.
The guest speaker was Rabbi Levi Garelik, Rabbi at the European Synagogue in Brussels and an halachic authority in Brooklyn, who addressed the theme of timelessness in the Rebbe’s leadership.
With an energetic explanation of how Jewish tradition predicted the modern marvels and technological advances of the last 150 years, he said: “The Zohar says that the day will come when there will be outburst of understanding. These are those times, and this is the generation that the Rebbe promises will take the world to heights the world has never imagined before.”
“The Rebbe is my hero,” said Dr. Martin Keller, a clinical psychologist who provides counseling services in Scottsdale. “The Rebbe represents the possibility that light can transform the darkness, that acts of loving-kindness can heal the world.”
He shared how a tour guide in Israel recommended that he learn the Tanya, the basic text of Chabad chassidism, and it was thanks to an unexpected call from a Shliach in Arizona that got him hooked.
For Nate Sachs, founder of Blueprints for Tomorrow financial planning and author of “Slaying the Demons: How to Be in Business Today and Still Sleep at Night,” it all began with a question.
It was when he and his wife walked out of Penn Station in New York City and were asked “Sir, are you Jewish?” He later learned about the “man who cares about every single Jew,” the Rebbe.
A supporter of Chabad Shluchim around the state, Sachs pointed out that thanks to the Rebbe’s Shluchim, he today observes Shabbos, wears Tefillin and studies Torah daily.
“I’m Jewish today because of the Rebbe, my children are Jewish because of the Rebbe, and their children will be Jewish because of the Rebbe,” he said. “The Rebbe is my Zeide.”
A short inspirational film “Marching Orders,” focusing on the Rebbe’s revolutionary vision of the essence of every Jew and the infinite value of every mitzvah, was shown.
Organizers said the event had a deep impact, with many participants committing to strengthening their connection to Torah and Mitzvos in honor of the Rebbe.