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July 12, 2002 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-07-12

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Teach n alin a rhe

shouting, "Jew, Jew."
Recently, the New York Times
reported that a decade of healing has
taken place, though scars remain.
There is now an African American
and Jewish mothers group, African
American youngsters join private
Jewish security patrols, and the leadets
of both groups share one another's cell
phone numbers.
As the Detroiters head toward
Crown Heights, they pass sprawling
parks with people blasting Afro-
Cuban music and noisy, crowded
streets. Eventually the streets widen
into grassy boulevards, with yeshivot
and synagogues. A festive Jewish wed-
ding is taking place in front of 770,
attended by crowds of people.
This is the spot where many
Lubavitchers get married — a tradi-
tion started when the Rebbe was alive
and couples came to get his blessing.
"I love seeing the weddings outside
of 770," says Dale Goodman. "There's
the music (a sax player accompanies
each wedding), the sheva brochat —
when the bride walks around the
groom seven times — and the bless-
Inside, the Detroiters are ushered
into the Rebbe's small wood-paneled
and book-lined study. Many from the
group met the Rebbe before he died
in 1994.
Borin remembers he froze the first
time he met the Rebbe. "Someone
had to push me; I was awestruck," he
Myrna Shankar took the subway
from Manhattan with her sister the
first time she met the Rebbe. "We got
the blessings and a 'lucky buck,'
which I still carry," she says.
The Rebbe passed out dollar bills
with his blessings when people visited
him, a tradition in the Talmud for
tzadikim, says Rabbi Silberberg.
Marty Goodman was part of a
group "who made sizable donations"
making them part of an inner circle,
he says. He brought his son, daughter
and wife to meet the Rebbe — "a very
moving event."
After the men stop for a Maariv
(evening) service in the study, all go
upstairs to the Rebbe's library of
250,000 books and manuscripts —
open to researchers — and a museum.
Among the many items are early man-
uscripts, including a page from a 1492
Babylonian Talmud, says the librarian.
So valuable are these works that the
former Soviet Union did not want to
return similar manuscripts still in


JOURNEY on page 25



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