Sometimes important milestones or stories go by unnoticed here, where in the past we'd surely have covered them. That's due either to lack of time or information, or both. Or sometimes we think that either you guys wouldn't be interested or would miss the point. In the case of Rabbi Zirkind lack of time and information at the time of his passing was the factor. And usually it's עבר זמנו בטל קרבנו, but not in this case! We'l make up for it now!
I don't think I ever met or even saw Rabbi Zirkind, despite having been around Lubavitch and 770 for quite some time. But that's often the case. You can go through life and not meet people that spent many of the same occasions with you. But here I think it was more of an intentional low profile being kept which kept him from being recognized and known by many in the younger generation. Having said that, everybody knew that there was a father to all those Zirkind children somewhere in Crown Heights. The father runs a very tight ship. He lights candles at like chatzos or plag haMinchah on Friday afternoon. He doesn't step into Oholei Torah on Eastern Parkway or send his kids to school there because it was a Conservative temple. He wears "Polish style Chassidic clothing" as the website Collive so "eloquently" put it, and so do his children and grandchildren, something most unique in today's Lubavitch. He was the founder of the Zirkind "shevet," if you will, all very recognizable. Others made mention in the obituary, if you will, of the fact that he was drafted into the Korean War and had his beard forcefully removed because it was against Army regulations, while being held down by 5 guys.(!) Or that he would translate the sichos to English-speakers who could not understand the Rebbe. Or that he reported all his cash earnings to the Government! But you get the indelible feeling that this only scratches the surface. That it's בבחינת מגלה טפח ומכסה טפחיים. I just don't have the answers. Maybe you all can fill in the blanks?
Some parting words on Collive
Photos courtesy of Chabad Lubavitch Archives