Beekman Newsletter


A Pesach Thought


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/Beekman Place resident

of long-standing, I often passed by Chabad at Beekman-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 Beekman-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 Beekman-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.

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