Bob Dylan, M.C. Hammer and the Joy of a Mitzvah

Celebs and Common Criminals Equally Important to Chabad

Challah Time: Mordechai Lightstone has stories to tell about rappers M.C. Hammer and Snoop Dogg, along with Bob Dylan, Henry Kissinger and others. He’s also helped jailed criminals see their Jewish identity.
Challah Time: Mordechai Lightstone has stories to tell about rappers M.C. Hammer and Snoop Dogg, along with Bob Dylan, Henry Kissinger and others. He’s also helped jailed criminals see their Jewish identity.

By Mordechai Lightstone

Published October 07, 2013.
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There’s the excitement of meeting someone famous. I have friends who have interacted with all kinds of celebrities, not all of them Jewish. There’s the one that spoke to Natalie Portman, the time a group of yeshiva students were given a ride back to yeshiva by Snoop Dogg on a return walk from a distant synagogue one Saturday night after Shabbos had ended, or the classmate that asked Jackie Mason to put on tefillin There’s even the picture of Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe putting on tefillin with a yeshiva student.

But truth be told, we would jump at the chance to do a mitzvah with most anyone.

I’ve seen people put tefillin on the homeless and invite the needy over for a shabbos meal. The same summer that Mendel and I went to visit Henry Kissinger, we also went to visit a man in a Forensic Psychiatric Ward, committed for murdering his two parents. For in truth, what drives us, what excites us and keeps us going, isn’t a chance to connect with celebrity. It’s love and the belief that everyone deserves a chance to express their Jewish identities.

Mordechai Lightstone is a rabbi by training, but a blogger by choice. He can be reached on Twitter @Mottel


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