Third Yahrzeit of Hanover Shliach Marked With Events and Initiatives

A series of events in Hanover, Germany this month marked three years since the passing of the beloved and unforgettable Shaliach, the late Rabbi Binyamin Wolff a”h.

A series of events in Hanover, Germany this month marked three years since the passing of the beloved and unforgettable Shaliach, the late Rabbi Binyamin Wolff a”h.

Rabbi Binyamin Wolff served as the Rebbe’s shliach in Hanover together with his wife Rebbetzin Sterni for fifteen years, starting with their arrival in the city in 2005. During this time, the Wolffs worked tirelessly to revive Judaism in the city, operating a vibrant and spacious Chabad house as well as a kindergarten, hosting events throughout the year, providing kosher food to guests and community members, and bringing many of the city’s residents closer to the Jewish way of life.

On Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5780 (2020), Rabbi Wolff passed away at age 43, leaving behind his wife and eight children. Despite this tragedy and the terrible pain, his wife made the brave and heroic decision to continue as the Rebbe’s emissary in the city, until the coming of Moshiach. “The Rebbe sent us to Hanover, and our mission is in full swing. We will stay here until its completion,” she said.

On the occasion of the first Yahrzeit, Rebbetzin Wolff inaugurated Beit Binyamin, a large and impressive Jewish center in downtown Hanover, named after her late husband. Since then, the building has become the center of Jewish life in the city and is bustling with activity and events.

The third Yahrzeit was marked by the initiative “A House Full of Books”. Since her husband’s death, Rebbetzin Wolff has noticed that the anniversary of his passing has become a time of Jewish awakening. Each year, many Jews visit Rabbi Wolff’s resting place at the local cemetery, some of whom are not regular visitors to the Chabad House. Subsequently, many come to the Chabad House on that day to put on tefillin and pray.

This year, Sterni Wolff wanted to channel this energy of awakening into the promotion of a central Jewish theme: Jewish books. According to Sterni, the purpose is to emphasize the importance of Jewish literature for the education and preservation of the Jewish people.

At 4 p.m. on Sunday, the 2ndof Iyar, 5783, hundreds of Jewish residents of Hanover gathered at Beit Binyamin, together with a distinguished representative of the Shluchim in Germany, loyal brothers of the mission, and with the respectful participation of representatives of the city and the state of Lower-Saxony.

The event was led by Rabbi Yehuda Teichtel, Chief Rabbi of Berlin, who has supported Hanover’s Chabad House since its very beginning and who has been there through good times and hard times. 

In a speech full of emotion, faith and Jewish strength, Rebbetzin Wolff spoke about the challenges of her mission as well as her whole family’s commitment to continuing her husband’s legacy of untiring work for the Jews of Hanover.

Rebbetzin Wolff’s brother-in-law, Rabbi Avraham Wolff, leader of the Chabad community in Odesa, Ukraine, remembered his cousin Binyamin’s love and devotion to every Jew in Hanover and emphasized the privilege and opportunity of every participant in the event to share this love with another Jew.

Greetings from representatives of the city and state were presented, including that of Lower-Saxony’s Premier, who spoke of his personal acquaintance with Rabbi Wolff z”l and sent his best wishes to the Chabad community for its continued prosperity and growth.

The keynote address was delivered by Rabbi Levi Sternglanz, Shaliach in Vienna, and translator of the book Tanya, the basis of Chabad Hasidism, into German. He explained the uniqueness of this philosophical work as well as the necessity for every Jew to study it.

Rabbi Levi Gottlieb, Rabbi Wolff’s son-in-law and Rabbi of Hanover’s Chabad community, launched the “Binyamin Library” project in memory of Rabbi Binyamin. The project’s goal is the presence of a Jewish library in every Jewish home in Hanover and to start the process, a beautiful edition of the Tanya were gifted to all members of the community.

Simultaneously, a large Jewish book fair was held in the Chabad House plaza, a first in the city’s history, and many of those present took the opportunity to bring elementary Jewish books to their homes.

Earlier in the day, Rebbetzin Wolff and her family, together with guests, Shluchim from all over the world and members of Hanover’s Chabad community had visited her late husband’s grave in the local Jewish cemetery.

The preceding Yahrzeit Shabbat, Shabbat Tazri’a-Mitzra, had been uplifted by the eternal influence of the beloved Rabbi Binyamin z”l. Kabbalat Shabbat and the Shabbat meals, attended by dozens of members of the community, had quickly turned into moving gatherings. Benny’s son-in-law and acting emissary, Rabbi Levi Gottlieb, along with the guests led by Rabbi Binyamin’s father, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Wolff of Eretz Israel, brother-in-law Rabbi Avraham Wolff, brother Rabbi Zusha Wolff of Kfar Chabad and Rabbi Shmuel Greenberg, Chabad emissary to Vancouver, Washington and brother of Rebbetzin Wolff had all spoken of the late Rabbi Binyamin and his enduring legacy.

Community members, for their part, spoke nostalgically about their beloved Rabbi Wolff who had been everything to them, who had been the one who had revealed their Jewishness to them and had guided them with Ahavat Israel, wisdom and generosity. Many emphasized their commitment to the continuation and development of Judaism in Hanover until the coming of Moshiach.

The events of Rabbi Benny Wolff’s third yahrzeit brought about a great Jewish awakening as well as a renewed awareness of the central importance of regular Torah study and of the presence of basic Jewish books in the life of every Jew.


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