Both houses of the New York State legislature, the New York State Assembly, and the New York State Senate proclaimed “120 Days of Education” in honor of the Rebbe.
It’s not an easy time in Albany, the Capitol of the State of New York. The Budget was not passed yet. The state legislators are very busy. They are hurrying from meeting to meeting and from committee to committee. But they came on Monday April 4, for a Special Celebration in honor of the Rebbe. For the Rebbe they found time!
A tradition in Albany
Chairman of the Celebration Committee, Assemblyman David I. Weprin opened with words of welcome to the members of the New York State Legislature, their associates and their staff. “This has become a tradition in Albany. I remember when my late father the speaker of the Assembly Saul Weprin was the chairman. We are all here for the Rebbe.”
Assemblyman David Weprin introduced State Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie the Sponsor of the Senate resolution.
“The Lubavitcher Rebbe was a pillar not just of the Jewish community, but of Crown Heights and New York City, revered by Jews and non-Jews alike,” said Senator Myrie. “The rebbe was known for building partnerships across communities, and inspiring good deeds, philanthropy and scholarly pursuits that reverberate to this day.”
Early in his career, the Rebbe spoke about food insecurity with then-Rep. Shirley Chisholm. Inspired by the Rebbe’s call to faith in action, Rep. Chisholm spearheaded the creation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.
“Representing Crown Heights, the community that raised me, is a great honor of my life,” concluded Senator Myrie. “While some look to sow division, I know the rebbe and so many others worked to build bridges across communities. That work continues, and I am proud to fight for the rebbe’s abiding belief in a world that honors the light and goodness in everyone.”
Rabbi Shmuel Butman, director Lubavitch Youth Organization thanked Assemblyman David Weprin for his able chairmanship of the Celebration Committee and Senator Zellnor Myrie for his sponsorship of the Senate resolution.
Rabbi Yisroel Rubin, the Shliach of the Rebbe in Albany and vicinity, overseeing many Chabad Houses, spoke about the scope of the Rebbe’s activities all over the world. “The Rebbe worried about everyone.”
The Outreach activities of Chabad Lubavitch
At the opening of the Assembly, assemblyman David Weprin, chairman of the Celebration Committee spoke about the international activities of Outreach of Lubavitch in over 1000 cities and 102 countries in the world. “They are there to help in any capacity that they can. It is my pleasure to be involved with the Chabad Lubavitch movement for many years and to sponsor the Resolution in honor of the Rebbe’s One hundred and Twentieth Birthday.”
The message of the Rebbe
In his prayer, Rabbi Butman noted that when the Rebbe speaks about education he talks about the education of all children regardless of race, religion, color or creed. The Rebbe emphasized that the children should be taught that there is ‘An eye that sees and an ear that hears and that the world is not a jungle.’
Pointing to the world situation today Rabbi Butman stressed that if the leaders of the countries involved in the international dispute of today would be educated as children that there is ‘an eye that sees and an ear that hears and that the world is not a jungle’ we would not be in the situation we are in today.”
The Advice of the Rebbe for opening Senate in Washington
Rabbi Butman recalled with reverence that before he opened the United States Senate in Washington in the year 1991, the Rebbe told him “Take a Pushka (charity box) with you and let everyone see what you are doing and let them know on what money should be spent for.” In accordance to this directive, Rabbi Butman brought a Pushka with him to Albany. During his prayers he offered a dollar bill in the Pushka. He also asked the legislators to join in putting a Dollar into the Pushka. “This is not a fund-raising campaign, for if it were we would ask you for much more than one Dollar, this is part of the Rebbe’s campaign to do mere goodness and kindness” Rabbi Butman said.
It was most interesting to see how members of both houses of the New York State Legislature lined up after the prayer to offer their own dollar in the Charity box as an act of goodness and kindness.
The speaker of the Assembly Carl E. Heastie offered a dollar in the Pushka saying “it is my honor to participate in this great event.”
Rabbi Butman also stressed what the Rebbe said that we live in the last generation of exile and the first generation of redemption and we can bring the Redemption even closer through more deeds of “Goodness and kindness.”
Rabbi Butman brought with him from Brooklyn Shmurah Matzoh for to the legislators. “The Rebbe wants that every Jew should have Shmurah Matzoh for Pesach.”