What Starbucks’ Chairman Learned from Rabbi Finkel zt”l

What Starbucks’ Chairman Learned from Rabbi Finkel zt”l

Over 100,000 people joined the funeral procession yesterday in order to pay their final respects to Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt”l. One radio reporter said this morning that what surprised him most about this emotional funeral was the unusually great amount of pain that the mourners felt over Rabbi Finkel’s loss as well as the tremendous love that they clearly felt for him.

I just read this incredible story on Aish.com written by Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz about an unforgettable meeting he participated in several years ago between Rabbi Finkel and a group of American businessmen:

[Rabbi Finkel] asked [us], “Who can tell me what the lesson of the Holocaust is?…Okay, gentlemen, let me tell you the essence of the human spirit.”

“As you know, during the Holocaust, the people were transported in the worst possible, inhumane way by railcar. They thought they were going to a work camp. We all know they were going to a death camp.

“After hours and hours in this inhumane corral with no light, no bathroom, cold, they arrived at the camps. The doors were swung wide open, and they were blinded by the light. Men were separated from women, mothers from daughters, fathers from sons. They went off to the bunkers to sleep.

“As they went into the area to sleep, only one person was given a blanket for every six. The person who received the blanket, when he went to bed, had to decide, ‘Am I going to push the blanket to the five other people who did not get one, or am I going to pull it toward myself to stay warm?'”

And Rabbi Finkel says, “It was during this defining moment that we learned the power of the human spirit, because we pushed the blanket to five others.”

And with that, he stood up and said, “Take your blanket. Take it back to America and push it to five other people.”

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One comment

  1. As a baalat teshuva I am very new to the whole concept of the adulation of the gedolei hador. It’s when I read articles like these that I truly begin to understand their greatness and light in this world.

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