When the Rebbe Rejected Magilla Gorilla

Rabbi Shlomo Kugel, shliach in Manhattan, relates: 

“During my time as a shliach at Columbia University, I copied a program that another shliach had done, which I liked. He called it “U.P.S.—United Purim Service.” He had a flyer, which I copied, and offered students to order mishloach manos to be delivered by a clown on the day of Purim, on campus. 

“The top half of the flyer said, “This is the whole Megillah,” and the bottom half had more text. It said, “All Jews have heard of Magilla Gorilla, but most Jews haven’t heard of the real Megillah.” “Magilla Gorilla was a popular cartoon back then. The back of the flyer had all the technical details. I handed the flyer in to the Rebbe, as I would with any peulah I did. This was during the 5740s and it was very unusual for the Rebbe to respond to these things in such detail.

“Shortly after I submitted this flyer, I got a call—I think it was from Rabbi Binyomin Klein—who told me that the Rebbe edited the flyer. If I wanted to see it, I would have to come to the office of the mazkirus. I went immediately to the office. Much to my amazement, the Rebbe edited the entire flyer, back and front. They didn’t let me keep the original handwritten edits, but I took careful notes and copied it onto a flyer. Since then my notes have been lost, but I remember the Rebbe’s notes clearly. 

“First of all, the Rebbe crossed out ‘Magilla Gorilla.’ Then the Rebbe crossed out ‘most’ in ‘most Jews haven’t heard of the real Megillah,’ and instead wrote ‘not all.’ Later on, the flyer said, ‘On Purim, Jews share in joy and revelry.’ The Rebbe crossed out ‘revelry.’


In honor of the Kinus Hashluchim, this month’s Derher magazine has published an extensive collection of the Rebbe’s hora’os to shluchim in the course of their work over the years. 

This article, alongside a host of other articles replete with informative and educational Chassidishe content is available in Crown Heights stores, or delivered to your door with your monthly subscription.

Read a fascinating interview with Rabbi Leibel Schapiro about his life in the Rebbe’s sichos, an overview of the Rebbe’s vision for the Chabad Kollel, a series of beautiful photos of the Rebbe in the streets of Crown Heights, and much more!

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