Jewish Background

As a member of the Machne Israel Special Development Fund — a special fund established to build new Chabad centers around the world, Mr. George Rohr had the privilege to meet the Rebbe on one occasion just after Rosh Hashanah. Mr. Rohr thought that instead of asking the Rebbe for something, he would give the Rebbe a present of his own. A short time before Rosh Hashanah, he had been instrumental in setting up a beginners’ service at his shul in Manhattan. On Rosh Hashanah, 120 Jews attended this new service. Mr. Rohr decided to announce this to the Rebbe and was sure the Rebbe would receive much nachas from this good news. When his turn to meet the Rebbe arrived, he confidently strode up to the Rebbe and shared with him his good news:

“Thank G-d, this Rosh Hashanah we set up a beginners’ service in our shul and had 120 Jews with no Jewish background participate!”

Until that point the Rebbe had a broad smile on his face, but when Mr. Rohr told him the news the Rebbe’s face dropped, and Mr. Rohr searched his words for anything he may have said that had upset the Rebbe.

“What?” said the Rebbe.

Mr. Rohr repeated, “…120 Jews with no Jewish background.”

“No Jewish background?” asked the Rebbe. “Go and tell those Jews that they are all children of Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov…”

Reprinted From To Love a Fellow Jew by Rabbi Nissan Dovid Dubov.
Published by Sichos in English