A Pesach Thought Perspective The Soul Adult Ed From the Lubavitcher Rebbe by Denise Sinclair “The Haggadah describes four disparate types of youth, but with a common denominator: all of them, even the most rebellious one, is present at the Seder. They meet, their lives intersect, and they share varying degrees of association with the Torah and mitzvot. Consequently, there is strong hope that even the most wayward child will eventually see the beauty of a Torah life. Unfortunately, the present era of spiritual confusion has produced a fifth, unmentioned category: the absent child. This one knows nothing of a Seder, Passover, the Torah or Judaism. Our attention to the absent children must begin long before Passover. With love and sacrifice, we must reach out to Jews who do not know what being Jewish means. No Jewish child is expendable. All energies must be directed to introducing absent Jews to the “seder” of Jewish life…” From a public letter 11 Nissan 5717 /April 12, 1957 As a native New Yorker and Sutton/<strong>Beekman</strong> Place resident of long-standing, I often passed by Chabad at <strong>Beekman</strong>-Sutton—admiring its lovely, sidewalk Sukkah tent or glancing through its inviting windows at toddlers and children playing gaily inside the building. I had no immediate sense of all that the organization represented. The value of what Chabad at <strong>Beekman</strong>-Sutton adds to our neighborhood became apparent when I first met Rabbi Metzger by chance. We shared a spontaneous conversation over coffee at a favorite, neighborhood café. The next time we met, I was wheeling my luggage along the sidewalk. The rabbi asked where I was going; I answered Paris. He took out a dollar bill to give to someone in need, explaining that this was tzedakah—the Hebrew word for philanthropy in which a donor benefits from giving as much or more than the recipient. I searched without success for someone on my way to JFK airport. In Paris, while boarding a train on the metro, I noticed a homeless, old French woman standing on the platform and quickly handed her a two Euro coin just as the train’s doors were closing. She was taken aback by the immediate gesture but clearly grateful. Since this incident, the rabbi and rebbetzin and I have become fast friends. I am struck by their unusual warmth and kindness, belief in community purpose and unwavering optimism. These are traits in short supply and seem somewhat old-fashioned in today’s ever self-focused world. Chabad at <strong>Beekman</strong>-Sutton’s community outreach efforts clearly have a positive impact on our globally-sophisticated, prosperous neighborhood with its Jewish population that consists of a mix of traditions. I was honored this Chanukah to serve as the emcee for the lighting of the menorah, welcoming state and local officials, as well as the children and residents of our most diverse neighborhood. What an unexpected, evolving connection it is that I continue to celebrate and treasure.