Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



A Lender and a Borrower Be

Barbara Bensoussan

For book lovers, a library is paradise — an opportunity to sample scores of books without running up a hefty tab. There are now Jewish libraries large and small, offering not only books but activities and community events. In honor of Book Month, take a trip to four very different libraries that truly deserve the designation “Special Collections.”

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

In 1972, librarian Zvi Rabin had a day job in a college library. So when his friends wanted him to join them in listening to live farbregens by the Lubavitcher Rebbe ztz”l, which began at 2:30 a.m. London time, they had to twist his arm a bit. One evening, it seemed bashert that Zvi agreed to stay up past his bedtime. It was the yahrtzeit of the Rebbe’s mother, and, among other topics, the Rebbe spoke of the need to establish Jewish libraries appropriate to each neighborhood. “My Yiddish wasn’t so good then, but I chapped that he was talking about making Torahdig lending libraries,” Zvi says. “Then my friends all gave me the look.” That evening happened just two years after he and his wife Faigie had married, and two years before the first ArtScroll book was published. The couple, who had grown up in Stamford Hill and chosen to affiliate with Chabad, diligently set up an “ad hoc library in a room of the Chabad house with a small collection of books, opening Sunday afternoons and two evenings a week. TheRabins carried on like that for about 12 years. In 1984,RabbiNachmanSudak, the director of Lubavitch UK, obtained six jobs through Manpower Services, a now-defunct government program providing jobs for the unemployed. He allocated two of the jobs to Faigie and another woman for the library, expanding its hours to weekday afternoons and several evenings.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you