Unity or Diversity?
March 15, 2019
Rabbi H. Greenberg in #1158, PARADOXES Of The Rebbe

Views all humanity as one whole, yet strongly asserted the belief in the Jewish people as the Chosen People.

The Rebbe, perhaps more than any other Jewish leader in the past, saw tremendous value even in gentiles as having an integral part in bringing the world to its purpose through serving the seven Noahide laws.

After the Crown Heights riots, Mayor David Dinkins came to the Rebbe and referred to the African American and Chassidic communities as two communities. The Rebbe’s response was that it is one community.

This was no contradiction to the Rebbe’s strong promotion of the Torah belief that we are the Chosen People. The Rebbe did not see any contradiction in seeing unity among diversity.


In the field of education, the Rebbe believed in having an open school policy to accept everyone, yet promoted different classes for different levels.

The Rebbe did not allow schools to reject students for academic reasons or for any other consideration other than the student being a threat to other students.

Yet, the Rebbe was not averse to developing different classes and curricula for different levels, giving each student what he or she needs.

The Rebbe referred to the statement in the Mishnah: “Set up many students.”

The way to accommodate many students and catering to each of their needs is through providing them with skills so that they can learn on their own. This is why it doesn’t say “teach many students” but “set them up” so they can stand on their own.

Some students don’t need constant feeding. Those who do should be given the attention they need on their level as it says, “Educate a youth according to his way.”

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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