Mitzvah Maker – Rabbi Yudi Steiner

Mitzvah Maker - Rabbi Yudi Steiner

Why is Chabad the place to be?
It’s all about the people. You’ve been to the Young Professionals Shabbatons, have you ever seen a more exciting mixture of young Jews anywhere? No, right? Chabad is world famous for one thing; Ahavat Yisrael, love of a fellow Jew, this is palpable in everything we do here in DC. It’s the warmth and the feeling you immediately get of coming home again. That’s the concept, but if you really want to feel what I’m saying, bring someone new to Chabad and just watch his or her body language as they experience Chabad for the first time.

If Chabad were a cookie, what type would it be?
If Chabad were a cookie they’d have to invent a cookie in its honor. One that is not too heavy to make you feel guilty but not too brittle to make a real impact and it can be savored long after it’s gone. You know speaking of cookies reminds me that Passover’s just around the corner, which in turn reminds me that all your readers have a phenomenal chance to check out Chabad for the first time or the tenth, we’re having both Seders and you’re all invited, just email afl@alfdc.org for more info and to RSVP. Who needs cookies? we guarantee the best tasting maror you’ve ever had.

What’s the difference between Chabad at GW and The Shul?
Aha. Your best question yet. Chabad doesn’t wait for you to come to them we come to you. A wise man once said, “Just as Hitler once hunted down every Jews in hate, Chabad seeks to include every Jew with Love.”
 
Chabad GW takes Judaism to the Jews of GW that may not even know that Saturday is Shabbat. Where during a Shabbos dinner one can find a first time, very skeptical student txting on his Blackberry – probably something like, “wtvr this plc is sooo not cool” but then, slowly, as the night wears on and the spirit takes over she tucks the phone away, joins a familiar song and is hooked.
 
The Shul, actually it’s TheShul, is where all the up and coming, busy, ambitious, young Jews come out to share meaningful Jewish experiences. From our now famed monthly Young Professional Shabbat Dinners to Sushi Nights and other social mixers and Wednesday night’s lecture with yours truly. I’d say its more Washingtonian.

What’s your favorite holiday?
Favorite holiday is going to have to be Purim. Yes its Cliché but this year it took on a whole new meaning; hundreds of students who otherwise wouldn’t be caught dead in a synagogue celebrated Purim at our “Purim in China” party. So ya, in this line of work an opportunity to do something so fun and so Jewish at the same time is what we’re all about.

Is it true that black is the new fashion craze?
I’m still the only one living in Foggy Bottom who goes out in the dead of summer with a black suit and Fedora. But I must say it definitely get heads turning. What kind of hat do you wear? Think about it, it’s a deep question [:)].

What if I don’t know much about Judaism, is Chabad still a good place to go?
No, if you don’t know much about Judaism Chabad’s not a good place to go, it’s the best place to go. Chabad doesn’t just teach Judaism it celebrates it, if you want to understand and experience the joy that Jewish involvement can bring to your life you must spend some quality time at Chabad, and please don’t make your first appearance on Yom Kipur, there are many more, shall we say exciting days than that (think Seders!).
 
What do you think of the term “Mitzvah Maker”? 
I love it but i would suggest amending it to “Mitzvah Macher” because that denotes not only a person who does many good things but one who aggressively searches for opportunities to do mitzvahs, more passion, you know? That being said as a Rabbi I leave you with a blessing; may you, your website, you readers and Jews all over the World Wide Web and beyond (are there any Jews beyond?) merit to make many mitzvahs!