If you never met the Lubavitcher Rebbe, you cannot imagine the combination of being an absolute genius and the height of humility he showed. No wonder people saw in him the Messiah.
I will give you one example. And then another one.
He planted everywhere ‘representatives’ of him, families who would pick up local Jews, plant Judaism around the globe, and forge relationships with Gentiles everywhere. They would found Chabad houses from where they would run their emissary work. Except … in the Netherlands. The Rebbe said: WW II has all but destroyed Dutch Jewry. If we now plant Chabad houses there, we will overgrow the tiny communities left there. We will not do that. We will just support the communities that are still there.
Such humility and respect for others.
And now, with the departure of Rav Steinsaltz, I suddenly understand why the Rebbe never made aliyah. He was a staunch Zionist but never settled in or even visited the Jewish State. The solution is amazingly simple.
We already had Reb Shlomo Carlebach and Rav Steinsaltz. That was plenty. These were the finest of rabbis who had what it took to do whatever was needed in Israel. He was not going to be in their way or disturb their work
Only hindsight is 20/20.
May their memories be for a blessing.