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What was the Rebbe's view of America?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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The Rebbe was very patriotic. The Rebbe expressed many times how the United States is a "malchus shel chesed" (a kind regime) which allows for everyone to worship freely and supports education and humanitarian efforts. The Rebbe extolled the vision of the Founding Fathers, a vision of a country in which "In G-d We Trust," without fear of repercussion.

The Rebbe was a naturalized citizen and carried on a correspondence with many elected goverment officials, including several presidents (of particular note was his close relationship with President Ronald Reagan).

The previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, became a naturalized citizen in 1949. He did this despite his extremely weakened state of health, and had the ceremony professionally color-video recorded (a quite unusual phenomenon at the time) and wore his Shabbat clothing for the occasion!

So, you may ask what was America's view of the Rebbe?

President Clinton spoke these words at the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony in 1995:

"The late Rebbe's eminence as a moral leader for our country was recognized by every president since Richard Nixon. For over two decades the Rabbi's movement now has some 2000 institutions; educational, social, medical, all across the globe. We, (The United States Government) recognize the profound role that Rabbi Schneerson had in the expansion of those institutions."

Read more about the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Rebbe here.


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RELATED CATEGORIES

History » "The Rebbe"
Chassidism » Rebbe » "The Rebbe"

Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Rebbe
A Chassidic master. A saintly person who inspires followers to increase their spiritual awareness.
Lubavitcher
One who follows the teachings of the Chassidic group which was formerly based in the Belarus village of Lubavitch. Today, the movement is based in Brooklyn, New York with branches worldwide. The Lubavitch movement is also widely known as "Chabad."
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.