A Moment with the Rebbe: At a farbrengen in 5735, as the Rebbe began discussing the dire state of Crown Heights, “My father-in-law chose this place, and bestowed his brachos upon its residents. Why don’t the beneficiaries ‘put their fingers in cold water’ for the needs of Crown Heights?”
As a community, as a neighborhood and as a center for hafatzas hamaayanos, Crown Heights received unique care from the Rebbe.
“This is the shechuna of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, and as such he has certainly not left it,” the Rebbe declared on Shabbos Parshas Mishpatim 5747 (1987). “A shepherd doesn’t leave his flock, even after his histalkus – he is therefore still here and sees everything that is being done!”
In the late 5720’s (1960’s), when the neighborhood took a turn for the worse, causing many to flee, the Rebbe called upon loyal chassidim to dedicate themselves to the shechuna’s needs.
At the farbrengen of Shabbos Parshas Shemini 5735 (1975), as the Rebbe began discussing the dire state of the neighborhood, the Rebbe’s voice quivered with emotion.
“My father-in-law, the Rebbe, chose this place, and bestowed his brachos upon its residents. And now, those very people who gained from these brachos – why don’t they ‘put their fingers in cold water’ for the needs of Crown Heights?”
The Rebbe stopped, holding back tears.