Friday, October 8, 2010
From a Journal/Diary Entry of Esty
I always liked my home better than Crown Heights. Maybe it’s because it’s my home and I’m more comfortable there. Also, I don’t like the politics, the “Tznius issue” and in general the insensitivity.
Of course, the Rebbe being here makes Crown Heights a really special place. In 9th grade I really felt it. Unfortunately, that was the first Chof-Zayin Adar. I also had an excellent grade/class in school. I really enjoyed High School.
This is my sixth year in Crown Heights. In High School a lot of Friday Nights I would walk home and cry because I couldn’t stand how people were dressed to the kill. I was the little 9th grader coming from out-of-town Albany. In the beginning I always felt underdressed. You may wonder why I am saying all these negative things, if the title is “Some Beautiful Thoughts on Crown Heights.” But all this is an introduction.
On Selichos Night (1:00am) it was so unbelievable to see young and old all walking to Selichos at 1am. The first shul was packed, right then I changed my mind about Crown Heights. Look at all these busy mothers coming. Hashem, look at your children. How can you leave us without our Rebbe who led every step of our way. Everyone really means well, it’s just that peer pressure and circumstance makes it become otherwise.
The next event that was an eye-opener was the night before Erev Yom-Kippur. (Uncle) Yankel Yuzevitz took me and his kids to Kapores. The streets were blocked off. There was everyone from Crown Heights, Kapores-Shluggen. It just felt like Tishrei from the old times. I can’t describe the feeling. You just needed to be there to feel it.
The third inspiration was Yom-Kippur itself. I really wanted to go home, but it wasn’t really worth the money and the schlep, when I am going soon for Sukkos. I am so glad I stayed. Usually, I always went home for YomTov, because I am an out-of-towner and I wanted to go home.
I had a seat on Bubbe’s row, three rows from the front, in the first shul on the left, closest to the Aron Kodesh. I was sitting next to Aidel (Feigenson) Pinson. I worked with her in Long Island.
Many people had come for Tishrei. It was pretty squishy. Many of my classmates from Tzfas came, too. A Lubavitcher davening is beautiful and hartzik. The Lubavitcher Niggunim are also like that. But it so sad to see the Rebbe’s red chair staying there and just empty. Everyone was so temimusdik, it was just beautiful. The Duchening was also unbelievable. Neilah was really the climax.
At the end of Neilah, the sang a niggun, many times, over and over again. The Shofar blow really felt like the cry within each one of us, I felt we would finally break down the Galus walls.
As I was walking home at the end, I thought, Ashreynu that we are Lubavitch, I really had an experience this Yom-Kippur. I finally had found the beauty in Crown Heights after five years…