Former Polish Prime Minister Lech Walesa, with, from right to left, Rabbi S. B. Stambler, Chabad representative to Poland, his father and brother, in Israel. (photo:lubavitch.com)
(Lubavitch.com/LNS) Former Polish President Lech Walesa visited Tuesday with Chabad Chasidim and Chabad institutions in Kfar Chabad, Israel.
In a desire to become better acquainted with "Jewish, Chasidic life," the Solidarity founder and Nobel Peace Prize winner joined Rabbi Sholom B. Stambler, director of Chabad activities in Poland, where Chabad maintains centers in Warsaw and Cracow, on a trip to Israel.
Walesa visited the yeshiva in Kfar Chabad where he spoke with its dean, Rabbi Yakov Katz, originally from Poland, in his native Polish. Walesa also met with hundreds of yeshiva students, inquiring about their studies.
“I feel privileged to be in this holy space,” he said, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to see observant Jews in their natural setting. Walesa received a dollar from the Lubavitcher Rebbe prior to winning the presidency back in 1990. He carried the dollar with him for many years as a symbol of protection and blessing.
Israel's former Chief Rabbi Meir Lau, and Israel's former Ambassador to Poland, Professor Shevach Weiss, both Polish born and Holocaust survivors, were among those who joined Mr. Walesa at the Stambler home in Kfar Chabad.