“The Rebbe and the Rav” Event Draws Hundreds
On April 29, the Chabad Club of YU hosted an event showcasing the special relationship between Rav Soloveitchik zt”l and the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l. The event, entitled “Living the Legacy of the Rebbe and the Rav,” was held in Yeshiva University’s Lamport Auditorium and attended by over 700 people from all over the New York and New Jersey area. The featured speakers of the event included Rabbi Moshe Weinberger, the Mashpia of YU, Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought, Rabbi Zevulun Charlop, the dean emeritus of RIETS, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, the personal secretary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l for over 40 years, and Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Jacobson, one of the most sought-after speakers in the Jewish world for his expertise in Chabad Chassidus. The emcee of the event was Dr. Lawrence Schiffman, Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education.
The event was originally scheduled to take place on February 3rd; however, after a massive snow storm disrupted transportation throughout the area, Danny Fordham, the YU Chabad Club president, decided to postpone it to another night later in the semester. Fordham was able to find a date when all of the high-profile speakers could still attend. Ironically, the news of the rescheduled event broke just days after a parody rap video of the Rebbe and the Rav was shown at the YU Purim shpeil.
The speakers touched upon many of their personal experiences and encounters with both the Rav and the Rebbe. Two of the experiences that stood out the most were those of Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky and of Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter. Rabbi Krinsky, being the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s personal secretary, was sent on many missions to various places. Several of these missions, Rabbi Krinsky told the crowd of 700, were to visit Rav Soloveitchik in Boston. Being in the first class at Maimonides School in Boston founded by Rav Soloveitchik, Rabbi Krinsky had a close relationship with the Rav. Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter showed a brief film of his father, Rabbi Herschel Schacter zt”l, recounting the experience of joining Rav Soloveitchik at one of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s farbrengens in 770. In the video, Rabbi Herschel Schacter described his amazement when walking into the Beis Medrash at 770. He retold that when the Rebbe walked in (not until the Rav arrived), the thousands of chassidim parted to let the Rebbe pass through. Once the Rebbe got to his seat, he did not sit down until the Rav was sitting comfortably in his own seat a short distance away. Rabbi Herschel Schacter said that the Rav had originally planned to stay at the farbrengen for only about an hour, but ended up staying for over three hours. Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Jacobson also spoke about this special encounter between the Rav and the Rebbe. He described the atmosphere in the room—of two Torah giants surrounded by thousands of chassidim—yet it seemed as though the Rebbe was speaking directly to the Rav.
All of the speakers knew of the special relationship between the Rebbe and the Rav firsthand. They said that while many people deny that the two gedolei hador ever had any relationship, the Rav and the Rebbe had a very unique connection. Even though the Rav and the Rebbe did not speak on a regular basis, the quality of the relationship is what made it so special.
To hear the actual event and to see the video, visit yutorah.org and search “The Rebbe and the Rav.”