By COLlive reporter
When Rabbi Nachman Sudak, Director of Chabad Lubavitch UK, returned home a few months ago after suffering a heart attack in New York, he quickly attended to his many duties and responsibilities.
“It has been 5 months since I was there,” he told COLlive.com. “Although I have been in touch with the Hanholo and others and have had meetings at home, it was good to get back to my desk.”
In a public letter to local Lubavitchers and Shluchim, he spelled out his plans for the future. One of them was “to introduce a range of facilities and opportunities for Anash to assist with their material and spiritual needs.”
Chief among them was a series of events leading up to Gimmel Tammuz, the 20th yartzeit anniversary of the Rebbe. Farbrengens were to be held in each shul and community and a new unity Torah was to be completed.
All that happened this past week, but the Head Shliach himself was not present to witness it.
The Torah scroll he initiated in honor of Gimmel Tammuz was also dedicated to himself, upon his passing at the age of 78 this month. He left behind 36 Chabad Houses and 14 schools, achievements which were recognized by Queen Elizabeth II in 2001.
This past Shabbos, as a preparation for Gimmel Tammuz, 3 speakers flew in to lead farbrengens: Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan, Maryland’s Head Shliach, author and scholar Rabbi Shais Taub and Rabbi Aaron Dovid Gancz, Mashgiach of Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim in Morristown, NJ.
On Sunday, Lubavitchers from the Greater London area gathered for the writing of the final letters in the Torah at the Lubavitch Junior Boys School, located in the London Borough of Hackney. Each family purchased a page in the Torah.
A crowd of 700 people of all ages then headed out to the streets for a joyous procession to the Lubavitch House, Chabad UK’s headquarters in Stamford Hill, where hakafos were held with singing and dancing. A special program was held for children by Rabbi Yossi Simon.
During the festive meal, the emcee Rabbi Nissan Dovid Dubov, Director of Chabad Wimbledon, thanked the committee and the entire community for coming together in a show of pure unity and honoring Rabbi Sudak’s wishes.
Saying Tehillim were Rabbi Yitzchok Meir Hertz, Rosh Yeshivas Lubavitch of London and Rabbi Leivi Sudak, Director of Lubavitch of Edgware. Rabbi Sudak’s son in law, Dayan Levi Raskin spoke on behalf of Sudak family.
Addressing the men’s crowd was Rabbi Gancz and Rabbi Kaplan. Speaking for the women was Rabbi Kaplan and Mrs. Chanie Diskin, co-director of Chabad Lubawitsch in Munich, Germany.
“It was an unforgettable and memorable day for Chabad UK,” said Rabbi Getsel Itzinger who led the event’s organizing committee. “So many people, such atmosphere. It revived memories not experienced for many, many years.”
As Rabbi Sudak wrote in his final letter:
“Some 55 years ago, when I asked the Rebbe in Yechidus what I should do in my Shlichus in England, the Rebbe replied, lifting both his hands to say ‘there are thousands of things to do’ and indeed there still are.
“I now plan, together with help of Shluchim and Anash to continue to deliver what the Rebbe wanted and instructed. I hope, expect and anticipate that this too will be Lemaalo Miderech Hateva” (‘above’ nature).