Thursday, April 06, 2006
Schmoozing with the cleaning lady:

This is the first year I've ever had cleaning help for pesach. Thank you, G-d. Thank you, Margarita.

So she came today and we're both cleaning, and she started to clean a picture of the Rebbe. She asked me about him. We spoke in spanish. Despite only 2 years of it in high school, we communicate fairly well.

So she asked if he was "el papa," to which I responded that he didn't have any children. Then she said, "no, like "el papa de los Catolicos." Then I realized she was asking if the Rebbe was the Jewish pope. I laughed. How could I, with my limited spanish, explain what a Rebbe is?

So I said, "Yo soy una Lubavitcher, y el rabino esta "el papa" de los Lubavitchers," (Silently cringing for comparing the Rebbe to the pope. I didn't know how else to make her understand). "Lubabeechers?" She raised her eyebrows.
"Si, estas muchos Judeos, pero todos los Judeos no estas Lubavitchers." "Ahhh," she nodded. "Y todos los Judeos no estas religiosas." "Si," I said.

I tried to explain how he loved all people, not just his own flock. Everyone was precious to him. I cursed my lousy spanish as I tried to extoll the virtues of my Rebbe to her.

If it was better, I would have explained how a rebbe is like a spiritual bridge between a person and G-d. I would have tried to explain the chossid-rebbe relationship. I would have tried to tell her about Moshiach, and the Rebbe's campaign to spread the 7 Noahide laws - the Torah's commandments that apply to all nations. If I could have, I would have told her how the Rebbe was not just the Rebbe of Lubavitch. He was - and he remains - the Rebbe for the entire world.

Yet I think that even if my spanish was muy, muy bueno, Margarita wouldn't get it anyway.


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My Photo Name: Fancy Schmancy Anxiety Maven
Location: Chutz l'aretz - Outside of Brooklyn

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