On a personal note, I will be forever grateful for the faith he put in me and the opportunity he gave me to take the reins of a Mitzvah Tank program... MORE
Recalling more than 20 years ago, at the beginning of the return process in the midst of being in awe of everything in connection with the process and Rabbi Benhiyoun, here comes this other over-arching rabbi, Rabbi Daniel Moscowitz, with a different but equally inspiring delivery and touch.
Yet another Lubavitch personage to continue to be bolled over by and pushed further by, toward being stripped of all that had been my past.
I had the zechus as a kind of Baal Teshuva "Rookie of the Year" to stand at the same podium in that era, the immediate aftermath of Chanukah,1994, with Rabbi Moscowitz at a Chabad of the Loop fund-raiser, featuring none other than Mayor Daley. When Rabbi Moscowitz spoke, I was nothing short of awestruck, gazing upon his profile and listening to his searing words burn into the minds and hearts of the sea of Anash in attendance.
I spent the next 20 years remaining in utter admiration and awe of his power of production and output -- new Chabad Houses, bigger than life community wide events etc. -- all delivered with that taint of kid-like chesed that seemed to characterize his every move and belie the nature of someone in his growing position of responsibility and authority.
Years later, when he journeyed off on behalf of the Holtzbergs, a'h, and the other Mumbai victim's families to Eretz Yisroel with that bulging bag of letters on the heels of Chicago's memorial extravaganza on their behalf , my jaw dropped. This was beyond the beyond.
On a personal note, I will be forever grateful for the faith he put in me and the opportunity he gave me to take the reins of a Mitzvah Tank program and his constant reassurance that the program as a part-time endeavor was powerful enough, and not to worry that the vehicle didn't move everyday.
I was also the benefactor over the years of a few quiet moments in his office, when he took the time, despite his impossible schedule, to provide reassurance and haspho'o in particularly difficult moments.
My wife sought him out too, one time about my situation, in those difficult episodes for the Sugars before our move to Israel. He told her prophetically, (she has told me since): "This too shall pass."
Within days of his passing, I was transported out of my bewilderment and overwhelm with the help of a dream wherein Daniel was smiling a broad yet somewhat bittersweet smile, while sitting in front of an audience at Beis Menachem, and calming other people down over the loss.
I continued to assuage the difficult feelings for the rest of the year also by imagining Rabbi Moscowitz consulting closely with the Rebbe, planning out their next project together, and hearing about and helping with what more must be done to finish the job and bring Moshiach! I am looking very much forward to seeing him again very soon.