Two shluchim were among the speakers at a rally against anti-semitism was in front on Capital Hill on Sunday, and other shluchim circulated among the crowd, offering them a chance to put on tefillin.
By Anash.org reporter
Thousands of people turned out on Sunday for a rally against antisemitism on the National Mall next to the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
The event, titled “No Fear: A Rally in Solidarity With The Jewish People,” was held on the backdrop of rising antisemitic violence in the US, unleashed during the May war between Israel and terror groups in Gaza. In the months since then, the violence have shown no sign of abating, with a shliach stabbed in Boston, and the vandalization of dozens of Jewish institutions.
Speakers included elected officials from across the political spectrum, as well as prominent Jewish and non-Jewish figures. Elisha Wiesel, son of the late Holocaust diarist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, was instrumental in bringing together the wide array of groups for the rally.
Among the speakers were two Chabad Shluchim; Rabbi Shlomo Noginski of Boston, who survived a stabbing attempt last week, and Rabbi Shlomo Litvin, shliach to University of Kentucky.
During his speech, delivered in Hebrew, and translated to English by his brother Rabbi Benzion Laskin, Rabbi Noginski recalled the attempt on his life and announced that in response to the attack, he would be opening a new smicha program where he would ordain 8 new rabbis, one for each wound he had sustained. Flanked by Rabbi Don Rodkin, director of the Shaloh House, Rabbi Noginski said that in the days since the stabbing he had felt a wave of love and support from across the world.
Later in the rally, Rabbi Litvin was invited to address the crowd. He repeated a message from the Rebbe that the proper response to anti-semitism was to stand up as proud Jews, and not to hide our Jewishness. “The Rebbe said these words in 1960, but they are as true today as they were then.”
Throughout the entire rally, a number shluchim, including Rabbi Chayim Boruch Alevsky of Chabad of the West Side, Manhattan, Rabbi Avraham Super of Chabad of S. Lucia, and Rabbi Yitzy Ceitlin of Chabad East DC circulated among the crowd, offering participants the chance to put on tefillin.
“Elisha Wiesel called me to specifically ask me to arrange for Chabad to come wrap tefilin with the men,” Rabbi Alevsky told Anash.org. “He also announced our presence from the stage, and encouraged participants to head over to the tefillin booth.”
Rabbi Alevsky had a special surprise for those who agreed to put on tefillin. He was using the tefillin that had belonged to Elie Wiesel, which his son Elisha had lent to him a short time after the senior Wiesel’s passing.
“He told me then that he couldn’t think of a better use for the tefillin, than for us to wrap as many people as possible with them,” Rabbi Alevsky said.
Many attendees donned the tefillin, and hundreds of others wrapped tefillin with the other shluchim and bochurim who attended the rally.
“I only informed the people about the uniqueness of the tefillin after they had already put them on, and every one of them was very moved to wear them,” Rabbi Alevsky said.
In keeping in line with the Rabbonim's policies for websites, we do not allow comments. However, our Rabbonim have approved of including input on articles of substance (Torah, history, memories etc.)
We appreciate your feedback. If you have any additional information to contribute to this article, it will be added below.