In sweltering July weather that topped 90 degrees over the past few days—and which may soon turn into thunderstorms—men and women prayed, clutched pens in concentration and wrote personal notes. Rabbinical students greeted each other and learned together. Parents talked to children, held them and guided them, morning into evening.
These were the faces of those at the Ohel-gravesite in Queens, NY, the resting place of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory. They have come for pre-Shabbat visits in honor of the 22nd anniversary of his passing on the third day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz (Gimmel Tammuz), which this year fell on Shabbat.
The Rebbe’s yahrtzeit is a time for reflection, learning, prayer, re-commitment and positive action by Jewish people everywhere. Around the world, Jewish communities will gather for programs and events, singing and storytelling, made even more compelling in this Hak’hel year (every seventh Jewish year is a Hak’hel year, when In ancient times Jewish pilgrims would pour into Jerusalem to unite in the Holy Temple and hear the Torah being read by the king).
Rabbi Chaim Boyarsky, co-director of the Rohr Chabad Student Network of Ottowa, Canada, told Chabad.org, “On the anniversary of his passing, let’s celebrate the Rebbe’s vision. Let’s honor his life’s mission to bring goodness and kindness into this world. Let’s do one more mitzvah, one more good deed, to make this world a better place.”