Legacy of Love

Friday, 11 April, 2014 - 3:19 pm

What is your Legacy? Do you think about it?

I had an interesting conversation with my neighbor’s 80-something year old father the other day about Bill Gates. Bill Gates’ reputation for most of his life was that he was uninterested in anything more than himself and his corporate success.

In the conversation, I suggested that it was Warren Buffet who challenged him to  give charitably to others. My neighbor quipped – “It must have been his wife Melinda”.

Most of us go through life focusing ourselves; what I need, my own fears, and my desire for security. The idea that I am here to serve others – never enters the equation.  

There is a story of the Alter Rebbe, regarding a Chassid who was facing financial difficulties. The Chassid unloaded his concerns on the Rebbe’s desk, lamenting his problems in great detail. He then went on to ask the Rebbe for a blessing for financial success.

The Alter Rebbe leaned forward and contemplated before responding. “You have told me what you need – but what you are needed for, you neglected to tell me…”

The Rebbe was telling him not to focus on his own needs; but to focus on what his personal needs would help him achieve for the benefit of others.

Today, 11 of Nissan, marks what would have been the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s, zy”a, 112th birthday. The Rebbe was an individual who had no personal life – other than his legacy of selflessness and love for others. He lived every moment with Ahavat Yisrael – inspired love for each and every Jew. He taught us to love and cherish each and every Mitzva, and never to judge another person harshly. He challenged each and every one of us to change the world with love, and Mitzva Light.

Let us today take up the Rebbe’s Legacy. May each and every one of us do one Mitzva in his Honor – let us share the love of Torah with others. May we learn to focus not on what I need, but what I can achieve to benefit others.

You and I -- we are the Rebbe’s Legacy. And we owe it to him to keep his dream alive – one additional Mitzva at a time. 

Shabbat Shalom & Chag Sameach, 

Rabbi Yisroel Hecht
Chabad of Sunnyvale  

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