Thousands expected to remember Rabbi

June 24, 2009 9:05:55 PM PDT
As many as 50,000 people are expected to visit the grave of a revered New York City rabbi to mark the 15th anniversary of his death. After sundown, the number of worshipers began to grow.

It is the beginning of a 24-hour observance as New Yorkers and people from all over the world remember Rabbi Menachem Schneerson.

"He was an inspiration for people of all walks of life," Yitzchok Hacht said.

For tens of thousands of people, this is a deeply personal experience as they remember the man affectionately known as the rebbe.

The worshipers that he'd inspired over four decades as he led the Chabad Lubavitch movement based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

"The rebbe changed the landscape of post-holocaust Judaism that was decimated into one of hope into what it is today," Rabbi Motti said.

He died 15 years ago and his funeral drew thousands of people.

The rebbe was 92 when he died on June 12, 1994 but according to the Jewish calendar the anniversary of his death would be observed starting at sundown Wednesday.

Thousands will wait in lines to pray by his grave site.

He touched their lives and, according to Rabbi Leima Mankowicz, taught valuable lessons.

"You have to pray more, learn more and do good deeds," he said.

The Hasidic movement he led stressed outreach to encourage Jewish religious observance and education.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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