Happy Birthday, Rabbi Yitzi

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Watch: A new music video by Benshimon and Bentzi Marcus brings to life the joy and energy of the worldwide Tefillin campaign to mark the 48th birthday of ALS battling Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz. Happy birthday!

By COLlive reporter

Two years ago, a group of yeshiva students who were inspired by the faith and good cheer of Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz, the Chabad Shliach in California who is battling ALS, decided to give him a gift.

In honor of his 46th birthday, they set out to help 4,600 Jews around the world don tefillin in his honor.

The campaign caught fire, and the result was that an estimated 10,000 men in 15 countries put on tefillin and shared pictures with the organizers. Thousands of women also lit Shabbat candles that Friday afternoon in his honor.

The next year, they did it again, and 23,000 mitzvahs were done in his honor, smashing the stated goal of 15,000 mitzvahs. Now, in its third year, #tefillinforyitzi is poised to reach an even wider pool of fans.

This year, in honor of Rabbi Yitzi’s 48th birthday on 2 Adar (Feb. 27), organizers are seeking to outdo the runaway success of the past two campaigns. Echoing the Rebbe’s call to strive for more and reach higher, they are hoping for an additional 26,000 mitzvahs, with a special focus on Shabbat candles and tefillin.


A new music video brings to life the joy and energy of the worldwide Tefillin campaign. To an upbeat niggun played by musician Fitche Benshimon, a song with lyrics by Chaya Baitelman and sung by Bentzi Marcus of 8th Day Band portrays how the Tefillin for Yitzi campaign has swept the globe.

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