Thousands around the world will be marking the 49th birthday of shliach Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz with a grand mitzvah campaign, continuing the annual tradition that began three years ago.
By Menachem Posner – Chabad.org
When Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz, Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to Temecula, Calif., turned 41, he received a dreaded diagnosis. He had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and would soon lose all mobility, including his speech. But nothing—not even a debilitating illness—could stop the indomitable spirit of this joyous Chabad Chassid, who continues to write, guide and inspire via the miracle of eye-tracking technology.
This year, he plans to celebrate his 49th birthday online with thousands of well-wishers around the world, and the festivities have already begun. Following the tradition that began as a surprise for his 46th birthday, every year many thousands of people perform mitzvahs and then submit photos of themselves holding placards emblazoned with the #mitzvahforyitzi hashtag.
What began as a once-off stunt has since become an annual event that has attracted more and more participants every year. This year, organizers are hoping for 20,000 individual mitzvahs done, and if past performance is any indication, they are likely to smash their expectations by wide margins.
“Ever since thousands of you began gifting me these incredible #mitzvahsforyitzi campaigns for my birthday,” the rabbi wrote last year, “I feel like I’ve regained a big part of my prior life and, actually, in greater measure than before!”
In past years, people submitted their photos via email or WhatsApp to organizers, who then aggregated the messages and photos to be presented to the rabbi. This year, the mitzvah count will be updated in real-time as participants submit their mitzvahs from a dropdown menu at mitzvahforyitzi.com. However, photos will still need to be shared via WhatsApp/text to +1 (770) 810-5134 or email to [email protected].
Then on Sunday, Feb. 14, the entire world is invited to log onto mitzvahforyitzi.com at 6:00 p.m. EST for a global birthday celebration.
Visit mitzvahforyitzi.com today and submit your mitzvah gift for Rabbi Yitzi, and become part of the world’s largest birthday mitzvahthon in history!