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At Dinner in Honor of Rebbe’s 90th, God Asked to Heal Him After Stroke

April 9, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

At a 90th birthday dinner here for the ailing Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, head of the Lubavitch Hasidic movement, God was implored to restore the rebbe’s speech and movement of his hands and arms, impaired by a stroke he suffered last month.

In return, Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, national director of American Friends of Lubavitch, pledged to “give all that we have.”

Among the 600 persons attending the dinner, there was little talk of any impending arrival of the Messiah, a common request by Lubavitcher Hasidim. But Shemtov said, “We look at this as a preparation for a new beginning,” that the rebbe “will begin as soon as he recovers from this temporary interruption.”

Schneerson, who has headed the Lubavitch movement since 1950, and whose 90th birthday is April 14, “will settle for nothing less than turning the whole world into an awareness of ha-Shem,” or God, Shemtov said.

The dinner featured reading Psalm 90 to mark Schneerson’s 90th birthday. And it was highlighted by a keynote address delivered by Nobel Peace laureate Elie Wiesel.

Among several members of Congress who attended were Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.), who said that problems facing the poor in major cities could be resolved if more people followed the teachings of “our grand rebbe.”

Shoshana Cardin, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said the conference and Lubavitch movement share a common mission, to work for “Klal Yisrael, Am Yisrael (and) for Medinat Yisrael”– the community of Israel, people of Israel and State of Israel.

Wiesel lauded the rebbe for managing “to do things that normal human beings wouldn’t even dare to dream of undertaking.” He praised “the contagious quality of his sensitivity and concern” for “every human being, for every single Jew.”

“The rebbe sends out an emanation of mystical quality that touches people who have never heard of him. And this, probably more than anything else, is what makes the rebbe so unique,” Wiesel said.

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