After Rabbi Labaton’s passing, we started this website as a place to help gather the thoughts and memories being shared by many. As the weeks went on, we found numerous email chains circulating with people sharing various links to a few of the Rabbi’s classes. Some people had archives with dozens of classes saved. We realized the void the Rabbi left behind, and the potential we had in using the site to continue to spread his teachings. In addition to the audio classes, there were countless stories, memories, and writings. To help focus our efforts, we developed the following mission statement:
To spread the Rabbi’s ideas, ideals, and values;
To share his unique approach to Torah, which synthesized unwavering commitment and the highest standards of intellectual honesty.
To celebrate his love for the widest spectrum of books and his reputation as a “fearless reader”.
To teach his passion and deep respect for Torah as a source of ethics.
To understand the value and beauty in every human being, each created b’Selem Elokim, in the Image of God; and
To encourage us to continue engaging in acts of tsedaka (charity), mishpat (justice), hesed (loving-kindness), and Tikun Olam (improving the world)
Working with the Labaton family, we have been careful to avoid reinterpreting or misrepresenting any part of the Rabbi’s teachings. In a way, this has been a lot easier than we thought. With hundreds of hours of audio, and thousands of pages of writings, we are able to simply “let the Rabbi speak for himself.” With each section of the website, we have taken care to see that it properly represents the Rabbi’s voice and not the handiwork of an editor.
At the time of this writing, we have posted nearly 100 classes and continue to add more as we sort through, catalogue, and receive new content. The response and feedback has been overwhelming. In the first three months, classes have been downloaded over 3,000 times, from twenty-four states, sixteen different countries and six continents. The Rabbi’s dissertation has also received significant attention, and, with the help of those who worked closely on his PhD, we hope to eventually develop the section further. For many, a point of interest has been the Rabbi’s Bookshelf page, a “recommended reading list,” compiled from suggestions given by the Rabbi over the years.
Since beginning this project, the most essential element has been the feedback and content we received from you, the readers. Whether a recording of a class, something written, an anecdote or anything else that has left an impact on you, please continue to share it with us. Equally important, are your honest comments and suggestions. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. The feedback we have received thus far has been a tremendous source of motivation.
We would like to thank his wife Emily, and their children Sara, Ovadia, Devorah, and Mordechai for allowing us to work on this project and help perpetuate the Rabbi’s legacy. It continues to be an honor and a privilege.
The Dweck Family
contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
[please visit the initiatives page for updates & projects we are looking for help with]