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Breakdown or opportunity?

אברהם פריד בהופעה

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Suddenly, the electricity went out. In the midst of an event organized last night in Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium to mark the 120th birthday of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, there was a major technical breakdown: no video screens, no amplifiers, no orchestra. What could be done?

Singer Avraham Fried found a single microphone that barely worked, took it in his hand and went down from the stage to the grass in front of it. Without any musicians to accompany him, he began to sing while asking the crowd to join him. A solitary projector illuminated him when he began to dance around until tens of thousands were dancing with him as they lit up the darkness with their cell phones until the problem was fixed.

There were, of course, many more performances as well speeches and videos, but when the crowd dispersed, people spoke mainly about the technical breakdown. It was the performance of Avraham Fried that they would never forget.

One of the major messages of the Lubavitcher Rebbe was to utilize every situation in which we find ourselves for good. Once a group of Chabad women called the Rebbe's secretary from the airport on Friday afternoon when their flight home had been delayed. "Shabbat will soon arrive and we are stuck at the airport," they said. The Rebbe answered: "What is the meaning of the word 'stuck?' A Jew is never stuck. There is always something that can be done." So the women started looking for other Jewish women at the airport in order to pass out Shabbat candles to them until their delayed flight took off.

When an unexpected challenge arrives, it's not only a matter of overcoming it, but of finding a way to create something out of it that is unique, inspiring, and good. Like what happened yesterday at Teddy Stadium.


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