SHADAR Touching Hearts, One Person at a Time
By Dovid Zaklikowski and Rabbi Shimon Raichik
Hardcover: 448 pages, 300 images and documents
I just had the distinct pleasure of reading this long overdue book about the life and work of Reb Shmeel Duvid Raitchik. The Frierdiger Rebbe's shliach to California and a מקושר נפלא to the Rebbe זצוקללה"ה נבג"מ זי"ע. A man who was דבוק בה' ובמשה עבדו every second of every day. Until his dying breath. כפשוטו ממש. Maybe if he had his own publishing company it would be out earlier. It's been 21 years since his passing. And if not for Dovid Zaklikowski who knows if this would ever see the light of day. From his beginnings in the Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Otwock, to his escape to Vilna, Kobe, Shanghai and ultimately New York, no detail is lost. And then there's the whole story of his shlichus. The family history, the family trials and tribulations during WW2 - it's all there. And rightfully so, a large section is dedicated to his late Rebbetzin and her family. Even people who knew him from as far back as the 40s and 50s would have lots to learn from this book.
You might divide Rabbi Raichik, and by extension the book, into two parts: 1) his personal עבודת השם and 2) his עבודת הקודש as shliach. But in reality they were היינו הך. It was his devotion to Torah, mitzvos and chassidus that caused to be the רב פעלים that he was. That caused him to be relentless in his works, whether raising money, building mikvaos, or telling people where they had to be in Yiddishkeit. No matter how far they seemed. There were no kid gloves - yet people recognized his sincerity and emes and could not turn him down. It didn't matter who you were or how many doors were closed. Fifty years of living in California working with all kinds of people had
article in כפר חב"ד magazine
a short clip of his words to shluchim at the כינוס השלוחים