SANDPOINT — The Roving Rabbis are coming to the area, spreading the message of Chabad.
The program started with the idea that, instead of staying in own area, going into smaller areas and spread Chabad’s message of making the world a better place and connecting with all Jews in the community to celebrate their faith.
“Chabad is about making the world a better place for all mankind,” Rabbi Mendel Hertz said. “Living a good, just life.”
Hertz, who is traveling with fellow rabbi, Rabbi Schneur Druk, throughout Idaho, said more than 350 Chabad students are traveling around the world as part of the Roving Rabbi program this summer, from Peru to Cambodia and throughout the United States. The program regularly brings young rabbis to North Idaho around holidays and during the summer to help bring the Jewish community together.
This summer is not the first that the Rabbi Hertz and Rabbi Druk have been Roving Rabbis. Last summer, Hertz spent time in Wyoming and, in the past, has traveled to Norway, Peru, the Ukraine, and Texas.
“I’ve gone all over the world spreading the message of Judaism, which is a message of peace and kindness,” he said.
Hertz and Druk have spent the past few days in Coeur d’Alene, traveling north through the state from the Boise-based Chabad Lubavitch of Idaho. The pair expect to arrive in Sandpoint Sunday evening, with a picnic planned for Monday. They plan to leave Tuesday morning for Bonners Ferry, where they will spend the day.
A picnic is planned for Monday in Sandpoint.
In their time in Idaho, Hertz said the pair have been greeted with welcomeness and kindness and they’ve been able to connect and worship with many Jewish residents.
Chabad Lubavitch of Idaho, an affiliate of the worldwide Chabad Lubavitch movement, offers Jewish religious, educational, social and cultural services.
According to its website, Chabad Lubavitch is a Jewish Chassidic movement and a Jewish outreach organization — with over 4000 branches worldwide — that embraces the millennia-old traditions of Judaism with a welcoming and modern approach. The underlying principle is genuine love for and unquestioning acceptance of every Jew.
The Boise-based Chabad Jewish Center serves as a center for all matters of Judaism in Idaho.
The Roving Rabbis’ tradition of cooking for the Jewish community comes from its founder, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
The program got its start when, in the 1940s, members of Chabad decided that an empty chair should always be placed at the table to represent a child who was lost in the Holocaust. Schneerson agreed it was a beautiful idea, but that instead of the chair sitting empty, a guest should always be invited to fill it.
From that grew the Roving Rabbis’ tradition of going into communities all over the world and setting up holiday observances for those that do not have a place to celebrate.
For those interested in meeting with the rabbis or attending the picnic, Rabbi Hertz and Rabbi Druk can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-872-800-5982.
Caroline Lobsinger can be reached by email at clobsinger@bonnercountydailybee and find her on Twitter @CarolDailyBee.