By Rabbi Avremel Blesofsky – Scotch Plains, NJ
After one of the Rebbe‘s weekday farbrengens, I walked with my father out of 770 Eastern Parkway. The air was thick and humid. “Ess and Bench” had a line around the corner selling hotdogs.
Merchants had set up shop selling seforim and other miscellaneous stuff. One merchant caught my eye. He was selling wrist watches with the watch face personalized with a picture of the Rebbe.
“Tatty, can you buy me one?” I asked.
No, he answered.
My father went on to explain to me that having the Rebbe’s face punctured with the clock dial and the moving hands going around was tasteless and disrespectful.
However, my father did buy a watch for me which was decorated with the logo of Tzivos Hashem, the organization that the Rebbe founded and which we were all proud to be a part of.
It taught me a life-long valuable lesson. The Rebbe, as well as a picture of the Rebbe, deserves dignity and respect.
I have recently been back to Crown Heights to discover colorful murals of the Rebbe painted on the walls of stores and buildings in the neighborhood. There’s no doubt that the person who drew them is talented and means well.
This type of art may be suitable for political and cultural figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Che Guevara, but not for a Rebbe. The image of the Rebbe shouldn’t be used as a fashion statement or propaganda art.
These murals are inappropriate, tasteless and disrespectful. I hope they stop.