The late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson



Chabad of Colonie, and Siena College


On July 9, Tammuz 3, we mark the 30th anniversary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson’s passing. The rebbe’s visionary leadership and profound love for every Jew propelled the Chabad outreach movement to unprecedented heights, a global force for good.

The rebbe’s timeless teachings continue to inspire millions, and his innovative approach to Jewish outreach, known as “Ufaratzta” (bursting outward), has seen Chabad centers established in over 100 countries, serving as beacons of Jewish life, learning, and community. His profound scholarship and spiritual guidance have shaped modern Jewish thought and practice. The rebbe’s emphasis on the inherent goodness of humanity and the potential for redemption has encouraged countless individuals to connect with their heritage and contribute positively to society.

On his yahrzeit, we connect to rebbe’s intellectual contributions and his unwavering belief in the power of kindness. His mitzvah campaigns, which encouraged the observance of foundational Jewish practices, have touched the lives of many and fostered a sense of unity and purpose.

As we prepare for the 30th yahrzeit, we look to the Torah’s wisdom for meaning. What significance does the Torah teach us about “30 Years”?

Strength: Beyond Muscle

In Ethics of our Fathers (Pirkei Avos, Chapter 5:22), we learn that “30 years is the age of strength.” But what is true strength? Muscles or perhaps military might?

The true meaning of strength is taught in Pirkei Avos 4:1. “Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations. As is stated (Proverbs 16:32), “Better one who is slow to anger than one with might, one who rules his spirit than the captor of a city.”

Simply put: True strength is the strength of character.

At first glance, this may seem underwhelming. Is that all being strong is — being a good person?

The rebbe taught us that strength is not just physical prowess; it is a spiritual virtue. It is our ability to overcome obstacles, persevere, and remain steadfast in our commitment to G-d and His ways. Strength is not about being impervious to challenges but about facing them head-on with courage and faith.

The rebbe’s teachings emphasize that true strength lies in the power of the soul, in the ability to love, give, and care for others. As King Solomon, the wisest of men, stated: “The righteous are as strong as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1), explaining that the righteous are not strong because they are immune to challenges but because they face their challenges with courage, compassion, and wisdom.

In his revolutionary teachings, the rebbe emphasized the importance of faith in overcoming adversity. He taught that the power of faith is not to negate the darkness but to illuminate and ultimately eliminate the darkness. Countless stories throughout Jewish history demonstrate that when a Jew proudly maintains his faith, even in the harsh conditions of a Soviet labor camp, Nazi concentration camp, or even on a college campus, they will inspire others and demonstrate true strength – their soul strength of character.

The Rebbe’s Strength

The rebbe emphasized that true strength lies in one’s ability to face and overcome life’s challenges confidently. He believed that G-d does not present us with any challenge that is beyond our capacity to meet. According to the rebbe, the greater the challenge, the greater our inner strength. This belief echoes the Talmudic teaching: “G-d does not make impossible demands on His creations.”

The rebbe spoke of an inner, divine strength that empowers us. He taught that every difficulty comes with hidden fortitude, enabling us to reach deeper and find the courage to move forward.

Strength is not merely physical might but includes the courage to act morally, the resilience to endure trials, and the spiritual vigor to fulfill one’s divine purpose. It’s about finding strength in times of weakness and relying on God’s strength to overcome life’s challenges.

May the rebbe’s strength continue to inspire us, and may we be inspired to embrace the strength within us all. Let’s tap into the spiritual strength that the rebbe embodied and build a future that truly reflects his vision and leadership.

This milestone in the rebbe’s legacy is not merely a remembrance but a celebration of the enduring strength of his vision and leadership.

The rebbe’s koach, or strength, was evident in his unwavering commitment to Jewish education, outreach, and the welfare of all humanity. His ability to inspire individuals to tap into their own strengths and potentials has left a lasting impact that continues to resonate and grow, much like the strength one reaches at thirty.

As we reflect on the rebbe’s teachings and the vibrant movement he nurtured, we are inspired to harness our own strengths in service of the greater good, perpetuating the rebbe’s mission to bring the world to a time of peace and redemption, the era of Moshiach.

“Chazak Chazak v’Nischazek” – Be Strong! Be a Strong Jew, a Strong People – Am Yisroel Chai!

May the rebbe continue to inspire us, and may it be a blessing for all humanity.

Possible Yahrzeit Resolutions:

  • Study the rebbe’s teachings.
  • Perform a mitzvah (act of goodness) in the rebbe’s honor (Check out mitzvot to choose:
  • Most importantly, be strong, exercise and build up your muscles of “strength of character ” As we say as we appropriately conclude at the climax of each of the five books of the Torah “Chazak Chazak v’Nischazek”