May 17, 2017
What Goes Into A Great Parade
Photos: Shimi Kutner

Parade Chairman Rabbi Shimon Hecht tells about the planning that went into the Great Lag B'Omer Parade, attended by thousands on Sunday in Crown Heights.

This Lag B’omer, Crown Heights was privileged to host a most beautiful parade and fair. Thousands of people from the community enjoyed a spectacular display of achdus, creativity and a tremendous Kiddush Hashem.

COLlive reporters sat down today with Rabbi Shimon Hecht, Chairman of the Great Parade, to hear his thoughts on Sunday’s Parade:

COLlive: From an onlooker’s perspective, the Parade seemed a resounding success. I’m curious, what are your thoughts on how the Parade went?

Rabbi Hecht: Sunday’s Parade was a beautiful event, and a true Kiddush Hashem and Kiddush Lubavitch. It was amazing to stand up there on the podium and see the thousands of children marching by, proudly waving their banners; the creative floats made by all the local schools, which I’m sure took much effort and hard work; and the marching bands which obviously took much practice.

Overall, it was a most inspirational event. I’m honored to have the great zechus to take part.

COLlive: Planning an event of such massive proportions must have meant a great deal of work and stress. Can you tell us how you managed to pull everything off?

Rabbi Hecht: There’s no question: A lot of work goes into organizing the Parade.

I have to thank Shimon Sabol, Parade coordinator, and the tens of volunteers who put in long days and long nights working on the Parade, ensuring it would be the great success it was. Without their hard work, it would not have been possible.

I want to share a story that happened a few weeks ago. I was getting worried that the Parade preparations were behind schedule, and that we wouldn’t be able to pull everything together in time. We didn’t seem to have enough volunteers working and everything was lagging behind.

I went to the Ohel, and asked for a Berachah that everything run smoothly. I normally stop in the lobby on my way out and watch a few minutes of the Rebbe’s Farbrengen. I often hope to get some kind of answer to my questions from the sicha playing. This time, I didn’t seem to receive any answer or encouragement.

Understandably, I was feeling a little dejected. And the pressures of the Parade were mounting.

On my way home I stopped in 770 to daven Mincha. In the entrance to 770 there is a video machine, playing videos of the Rebbe. As I was walking by I heard my father, Rabbi J.J. Hecht, give him a Berachah, and then announce proudly, “Let the Parade begin!”.

At that moment, I knew the Rebbe had answered my question. There was no doubt in my mind the Parade would be a great success.

COLlive: It seems there were lots of miracles in play this year. It rained the entire Shabbos, and the weather forecast had rain for Sunday as well. What do you make of Sunday’s beautiful weather?

Rabbi Hecht: Sunday’s weather was one big miracle!

I won’t lie: I was definitely nervous. The big Yud Alef Nissan rally was rained out this year, and I was worried the same thing might happen again. But knowing we had the Rebbe’s brochos, I was confident the parade would be a success.

In the days leading up to the Parade I visited Beis Rivkah and Bnos Menachem to discuss details with the students. One of the things I asked from the girls was for each girl to say an extra kepital Tehillim each day for the parade to be a success.

There is no doubt in my mind that their Tehillim helped save the day. It rained the whole Shabbos, it rained Sunday morning until close to 4 am, and then, miraculously, Sunday morning was clear and sunny. Clearly, Hashem and the Rebbe were looking out for the Parade.

COLlive: Following the Parade, is there any message you wish to share with the community?

Rabbi Hecht: On Sunday we saw a tremendous display of Achdus. We should each work on taking this achdus and using it throughout the year to continue to inspire us to fulfill the Rebbe’s rotzon and bring Moshiach.

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Opinions and Comments
thanks for all the great work
(5/17/2017 4:01:38 PM)
Go uncle Shimon!!!!
Go uncle shimon! Your the best!!
(5/17/2017 4:36:31 PM)
Rabbi's Shimon
Amazing guys!!!! Rabbi Hecht a"h is looking down & shepping nachas!!!!
Thank you NCFJE
(5/17/2017 5:45:16 PM)
very nice
yasher koach!
(5/17/2017 6:49:45 PM)
Your the man!!!
Rabbi shimon hecht is the BEST!!! No one can ever replace you ! You did a superb job!!! A big yasher koach to you !!
(5/17/2017 7:24:37 PM)
Go Shimon Sabol
The real hard work was done by Shimon Sabol and he deserves tremendous recognition for his sleepless nights in the last 3 month.

Go Shimon
(5/17/2017 8:16:34 PM)
thank you NCFJE
Thank you Rabbi Hecht and shimon sabol.
It was a beautiful parade and fair bh!
You guys are awesome!
(5/17/2017 8:40:44 PM)
Thank you
Very beautiful & inspiring and SO important for the kids
(5/17/2017 9:01:20 PM)
Big Z Schapiro
Dear Rabbi Hecht I would like to thank you so much for the wonderful great parade and the fair I really had a great time I had so much fun as well and I know you been working all night and all day for making this preparation for the parade the shows and fairs as great as possible guess what you did it all and it worked out very beautiful I would like to give you a blessing for you and your wonderful family the entire family go from strength to strength happiness and successful simchas and Nachas together in Yerushyaim with Moshaich now I'm looking forward for the next great parade
(5/18/2017 5:31:35 AM)
it was great
i want to mention that it was beautiful to see the way lubavitch can make such a “great” parade and I don’t know how many people noticed that the entertainment was fantastic and all from our very own lubavitchers .
Chaim Fogelman and mitzvah blvd were fantastic, Shlomo shimcha and benny freadman were great

Thank you
(5/18/2017 7:16:21 AM)
To Rabbi Hecht
Just unbelievable how from year to year it just gets better and better may hashem pay you back with all good for you and your family!!!
Moshiach now!!!
(5/19/2017 12:39:31 AM)
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