Diverse members of Knesset cite the Rebbe’s example and legacy
Members of the Israeli Knesset and other high-ranking Israeli officials took time from their busy legislative schedules to hail the legacy of the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—and the work of Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries as a unifying and caring force across Israel and the world.
“They serve for the Jewish people and for Israel, and they deserve recognition from the country,” said Yair Lapid, chairman of the centrist Yesh Atid Party, whose remarks were shared in a newscast following Monday’s event, held heading into the 25th year since the Rebbe’s passing.
Praise came from across the political and social spectrum in Israel, with government ministers and members of the Knesset participating in the special event, dubbed “Chabad Day in the Knesset.”
Participants included Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz; Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked; Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Gallant; Culture Minister Miri Regev; Minister of Education Naftali Bennett; Minister of Absorption Ze’ev Elkin; Minister of Agriculture and Development Uri Ariel; and Minister of Communications Ayoub Kara.
Kara, a member of the Israeli Druze community, shared a recent joyous occasion—a bar mitzvah he celebrated with a Chabad emissary in Tel Aviv.
Most speakers focused on their admiration of the Rebbe, his teachings and his example, and on Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries for continuing the Rebbe’s work in both serving and bringing together Jews in Israel and throughout the world, regardless of affiliation.
Some told of specific instances of service and acts of kindness performed by Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries and other Chabad Chassidim through the growing array of Chabad centers throughout Israel. Others talked about their personal relationships with emissaries and the Rebbe himself.
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Aharonov, head of Agudas Chassidei Chabad of Israel, summed up the sentiment of the day.
“The presence of Knesset members from all the factions demonstrates the care that the Rebbe had for all parts of the nation,” said Aharonov. “The Rebbe has always instilled in us that it is our duty to bring every Jew together without looking at his personal situation. The event proves that the path and work of the Rebbe were successful in entering the Israeli consciousness.”
The day, organized by Knesset Member Shuli Mualem and Israel’s Chabad leadership, would not have been complete without a call to action, which manifested as a tefillin-donning session for officials who chose to opt in.
By: Yehuda Sugar