Rebbe's '770' to be on Israeli stamp

Many Orthodox and haredi groups have opposed dedicating postage stamps to the memory of great rabbis and sages.

lubavitch rebbe 88 (photo credit: )
lubavitch rebbe 88
(photo credit: )
A new Israeli stamp depicting the red-brick Brooklyn house of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, will be released soon by the Israel Postal Authority's Philatelic Service. The New York house - known widely by its address, 770 Eastern Parkway - is accompanied on the face of the stamp by two Jewish symbols - Shabbat candles and tefillin. Many Orthodox and haredi groups have opposed dedicating postage stamps to the memory of great rabbis and sages because the glue on the back is licked to affix them to envelopes - an act of disrespect. But showing "770" avoids the problem that would exist if the Rebbe's face were shown on the stamp. In addition, the "messianic" faction of Lubavitch hassidism refuses to admit that Schneerson, the seventh Chabad Rebbe, died nearly 12 years ago. Sam Malamud, president of Inter-Governmental Postal Consultants (IGPC) group (the Official Postal Agency in the US for the Postal Authority) said: "We anticipate an immediate sellout of this issue worldwide. Considering the fact that the Rebbe has and continues to touch the hearts and minds of more people then any other Jewish figure in modern history, everyone whose lives have been affected by the Rebbe will want to collect this historic postage stamp. The global admiration and respect associated with the Rebbe and Chabad may possibly make this the most sought-after Israeli stamp ever issued," he said. Chabad is an abbreviation of the Hebrew words meaning wisdom, insight and knowledge. Lubavitch in Russian means "love," and the concept emphasizes the mutual love of God and Israel. In 1941, Schneersohn escaped from the Nazis and arrived in the US with his wife, Chaya Mushka. Together with his father-in-law, Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn - the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe - they established a hassidic educational network throughout the US. They moved to 770 Eastern Parkway in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. In 1950, Menachem Mendel succeeded his father-in-law and became the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe. When he died on June 12, 1994, at age 92, he did not leave a successor. The building holds an expansive study hall, enormous and valuable library, the Rebbe's private room, and the secretary's office. From this building the Rebbe's words went out to the Jewish world as well as to world leaders and heads of state. A facsimile of the building was constructed at Kfar Chabad and in Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo quarter. Today, Chabad boasts the largest outreach program, with over 3,500 Chabad houses and Torah centers around the world.