Avremele Reinitz and Shmuel Kraus have been friends for
years, but they went their different ways after they married. Shmuel moved to
Antwerp, and Avremele lived in Eretz Yisroel for a short time after he married.
During that brief period of time, Avremele thought a lot
about 770, and went to the 770Live website regularly to see what was happening
there. One Monday afternoon, Avremele was watching the Rebbe’s minyan
that began davening at 10 a.m. They were up to Krias ha’Torah, and
Avremele watched as the gabbai, R’ Menachem Gerlitzky, said Mi
SheBeirach for a new mother.
Avremele saw that R’ Gerlitsky had a cellular phone in his
hand. He said the Mi SheBeirach and gave the name for someone who lived
far away, yet wanted his daughter to be named in the Rebbe’s minyan. When
Avremele heard the name Chaya Mushka bas Shmuel, he suddenly remembered that his
friend in Antwerp had a newborn baby girl. He knew who was calling the gabbai!
Less than a minute later, Avremele called Belgium and wished
Shmuel mazel tov on the birth of Chaya Mushka. Then he quickly
enlightened his friend as to how he knew the baby’s name so fast!
This true story accentuates the uniqueness of 770Live: the
instantaneous ability to "live with the Rebbe," with 770, at all times.
It began as a joint dream of two Chassidim, one in Eretz
Yisroel and one in the U.S. Their dream was realized by setting up a website
that broadcasts live from 770 around the clock. This was made possible only
through a tremendous amount of work and resources.
It actually began twelve years ago, when Rabbi Yaakov
Linchner from Rechovot founded "N’chayeg v’nishma" (Dial and Listen), a
computerized telephone system that people around the world call and hear
sichos, niggunim, shiurim, lectures, etc.
Back then, Linchner was dreaming of a "Dial and See." "It was
a dream, because at that time the technology didn’t exist, not even among
wealthy or high-tech people," Linchner explains. "The Internet was in its
infancy, and the concept of broadband, which is needed to transmit a voice and
live video, was unheard of.
"Only two and a half years ago, when the technology sped up
tremendously, I was able to set up a test site which would transmit only sound.
I connected the site to Dial and Listen and many people listened to the Rebbe’s
sichos and classes on chassidus. These were the first attempts to
create a live connection to 770. They had a certain measure of success, and we
hoped to make further progress.
"You know, technology doesn’t stand still. Every day new
high-tech inventions appear in the marketplace, so a year ago it was possible to
get the most advanced components needed to broadcast video on-line."
At first R’ Linchner wanted to go to 770 to set up a camera
in order to broadcast the video live, but after asking the Rebbe through the
Igros Kodesh, he got a negative response. In the meantime he fundraised for
the new project. When he had the money he needed, he asked again and received a
positive answer. That night he was on the plane to 770.
"I arrived at 770 and discovered that things were far more
complicated than I had thought. The technology is not simple. While I was
fretting about what I was supposed to do, I became acquainted with R’ Reuven
Blau, who has a lot of experience with communications via computer for
hafatzas ha’Chassidus. Back in 5742 he was involved in spreading the
wellsprings over computer bulletin boards, which was known as KosherNet. Later
on, in 5748, he and his brother Meir put up the Crown Heights News Line, which
used telephone lines. I was surprised to hear that he had been thinking for a
long time about live broadcasting from 770 to the whole world via the Internet.
"It was a few hours before the banquet at the Kinus
HaShluchim in 770 last year, and we really wanted it broadcast live. Since
it was only a few hours before the event, we decided on an audio broadcast only.
The first speech was that of Rabbi Shneur Zalman Gurary. Shortly before the
broadcast, R’ Linchner called a few Lubavitch centers around the world to inform
them that the banquet would be broadcast live.
None of the listeners in their homes could imagine how many
obstacles there were for Blau. "I had many complicated technical problems," he
says. "You can count on your fingers the number of people in the world who know
how to build a website that constantly broadcasts video live. There was nobody
to consult with, so I was forced to put together equipment and invent solutions
almost from ayin to yesh, and all in less than three hours!
Despite my previous experience in computer communications I can attest that the
live broadcast took place in a supernatural manner, only with the ko’ach
of the Rebbe MH"M."
Four months later, in Adar of 5760, Linchner came to 770 to
celebrate the bar mitzva of his son. He came with a state-of-the-art
camera and new equipment, but he soon realized that developing a site like this
would cost tens of thousands of dollars. The one who gave the principle sum to
complete stage one of the site was Rabbi Meir Gutnick, who had heard about the
original idea and donated the sum on the spot.
On Yud-Alef Nissan 5760, the first live video broadcast of
770 could be seen via Internet. Hundreds of net surfers went online and watched
the live broadcast of the Yud-Alef Nissan farbrengen. The first live
broadcast was a success, and those who ran the new site began working
energetically on upgrading the technology so that any chassid anywhere in
the world could watch what was going in 770 day or night. Naturally, the site
was named 770Live.
Since then the camera has been in the center of the large
zal, facing the farbrengen dais, and it operates 24-hours a day
(except Shabbos and Yom Tov, of course). There are microphones in the beis
midrash recording the goings on, operating during t’fillos, shiurim,
farbrengens, and special events.
The site has two bases of transmission - one in Manhattan and
the other in New Jersey. What if there’s a problem? What if the camera doesn’t
work properly, or the computer in 770 is down? Blau immediately heads for 770,
even if he’s in the middle of working or it’s late at night. He locates the
source of the problem and opens the lines. "Any good thing has problems," he
says modestly, "and the more important something is, the bigger the problems.
I’m happy that my wife and eleven children, bli ayin ha’ra, feel like
partners in this important project and understand the need to drop everything
and run to 770.
"We’ve improved the quality many times over compared to when
we started, and today we are definitely close to the highest level of technology
available in the entire world, so that anybody can watch and feel like he’s in
Word has gotten out about Linchner and Blau’s expertise; even
non-Chabad groups have asked them to broadcast their events over the Internet.
During Sukkos the camera was brought out to Kingston Avenue
for the Simchas Beis HaShoeiva, and anyone who couldn’t make it to 770
for Tishrei was able to join in the traditional, huge Simchas Beis HaShoeiva
"Just imagine," says Yaakov Linchner with sparkling eyes, "a
shliach in Alaska or Katmandu, tired at the end of the day, suddenly
yearns for 770. With a few clicks of the mouse he can go to 770, and see and
hear what’s going on and even participate in a farbrengen in honor of a
special date, or a siyum in Rambam, and hear the speeches, the lectures
and the stories that last into the night."
Feedback is enthusiastic. The directors of the site happily
relate that there are anash around the world who go online to watch the
Rebbe’s minyan three times a day. "Chassidim and shluchim all over
the world who long to be in 770 can do it easily now," says Blau.
Where are the people from?
"Everywhere! Japan, Argentina, England, France, India, Eretz
Yisroel, Brazil, etc. Sometimes I’m surprised to get an e-mail from shluchim
from places I didn’t know Chabad had a presence. They all thank us for the
z’chus to be able to be in 770 at any time."
Here’s one e-mail they got: "Hello, I want to thank you for
your hard work in getting the website up. I am 13 years old and I’m a shliach
in Calgary, Alberta in Canada. We don’t have a school here, and 770Live
helps me tremendously. I hear shiurim, sichos, etc. It’s great! I wish
you success, and that you keep up the good work. Yechi HaMelech, Chani
Another e-mail message: "Yashar ko’ach! Yashar cheila,
this past year I davened (when possible) nearly every t’filla with
the Rebbe’s minyan and learned the weekly D’var Malchus... "
There are also requests like: "Hello. I have a very important
request. My name is Devora and I’m the mother of ... I haven’t seen him for two
years already since he left for the Rebbe on 25 Elul. Tomorrow could you aim the
camera in his direction so that I can see him? He recently arrived in 770 from
shlichus in Japan, and will be there for a few days, and maybe I can see
him with your help. Thanks a lot!"
The website also operates as a tremendous force for
hafatzas Yahadus and Yiddishkeit in the world. Here’s an
e-mail that arrived a month ago: "I am a Bobover chassid and I have a
Rebbe who is a great tzaddik like R’ Shlomo, zt’l, but I learned a
little bit about your Rebbe and his sichos through this site. This
website has given me a different perspective about the entire movement (Chabad),
which I had looked upon negatively. Take care of the site, thanks."
A Jewish man from somewhere in Italy asked whether he could
be assisted in finding a shidduch because there are no Jews where he
A young man from Cholon wrote: "I wouldn’t describe myself as
religious the way you define it, but I still enjoy learning Tanya through
How many hits do you get a month?
Yaakov Linchner: "Over 40,000 hits in an ordinary month.
During Tishrei the number doubles. During holidays or on days with special
events, like the banquet for the Kinus HaShluchim, we had 1,873 hits.
During the Congress and the farbrengen on Gimmel Tammuz we had over
The site operates 24-hours a day, with the focus during
davening and farbrengens on the bimas ha’t’filla or the
farbrengen. The rest of the day the camera is aimed around the Rebbe’s
Why do you broadcast 24-hours a day and not just during
davening and farbrengens?
"I’ll answer you with a story. A Jew from France who didn’t
understand Hebrew or English heard that you can see 770 through our website. He
went online when it wasn’t during davening and saw where the Rebbe
davens. He was very moved and stood in front of the computer in tears and
asked for the Rebbe’s bracha for something. Soon afterwards, he sent us
an e-mail telling us what had happened, and said that he felt the Rebbe was
listening. His answer came and he had a great yeshua."
As we related in the beginning of this article, the live
broadcasting enables family to unite at simchos. Yaakov Linchner related,
"Three months ago we celebrated the bar mitzva of our third son, Shalom
Dov Ber, in Kfar Chabad. At the time, our oldest son was in 770. Being far away
took away a bit of the simcha, until we found a solution. At the bar
mitzva we connected a large screen to the computer and saw 770 live. It was
after Mincha. With "Yechi" sung in the background, our oldest son
gave his brother a heartfelt bracha.
"The next day it was the opposite. That night I flew with the
bar mitzva boy to 770 so he could have his aliya l’Torah in the
Rebbe’s minyan. The rest of our family and friends watched the aliya,
the reviewing of the maamer, and the farbrengen from Eretz
I know families of shluchim scattered around the world
who, when there’s an aliya l’Torah, etc., announce it ahead of
time, and everybody watches it while it happens.
This website is used not only to broadcast the goings on in
770, but also for hafatzas ha’maayanos. There’s a long list of
shiurim, lectures, and farbrengens on Torah and chassidus.
These shiurim are connected with Dial and Listen, which R’ Linchner
started 12 years ago.
Now if a chassid in some forsaken part of the world
wants to learn from a text and hear the Rebbe simultaneously, he can download
the Rebbe’s sichos from 5748 and on. You can select and click on the
sicha you want, and you can get a tape of the sicha along with a
photocopy of the hanacha provided by the "Otzro Shel Moshiach"
site run by Rabbi Gidi Sharon.
Why from 5748 and on? Linchner explains: "We started from the
latter sichos of 5752, and we’ve slowly made our way backwards. Don’t
worry, we plan to add more."
The site also contains shiurim on all of Tanya
divided into the daily Chitas portion. You just select the day you want
(regular or leap year) and you hear the shiur in Hebrew, English, or
Yiddish. This is presented along with the page of Tanya.
You can listen as well to shiurim in Rambam: three
chapters a day, a chapter a day, and the Seifer HaMitzvos. There’s a
section for niggunim (presently on the English site), and whoever wants
to enjoy Chabad niggunim can listen to one of 560 niggunei Chabad!
You can watch videos of a few of the Rebbe’s sichos.
Linchner’s dream is to have all the sichos available, but this is a huge
project and will take time.
Then, of course, there are shiurim in inyanei
Moshiach and Geula, from which you can select an array of titles.
Included here as well are live broadcasts from the kinusim and Moshiach
Congress held in Eretz Yisroel and 770, and videos of previous kinusim.
Regarding hafatza of Judaism and chassidus via
the Internet, Blau has plans. "The Rebbe always said to use every development
for hafatzas ha’Yahadus, thus conquering the world. Today, the Internet
is the easiest, most efficient, and practical way of literally conquering the
world, because through this medium you can reach the entire globe at once."
"We are the only ones anywhere on this planet," Blau points
out, "who broadcast live from a shul or beis midrash. There’s no
other shul that is covered 24-hours a day and broadcast live to the homes
of thousands of people at any given time."
Blau believes that in a few years nearly everyone will be
connected to this medium, just as phone and fax have become ubiquitous. In the
near future people will communicate with each other on live video through the
Internet, as they already do for trans-Atlantic business meetings. "If this is
done in business, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be used to transmit live
shiurei Torah to thousands, and theoretically, to millions of people."
What are your plans for the future?
Linchner: "The site is constantly developing. We are
putting in a great deal of work to include a number of new projects.
"We hope to dedicate different sections for Chabad mosdos
around the world so they can broadcast audio shiurim on a regular basis.
If, for example, the Chabad yeshiva in Tzfas wants to broadcast a
shiur on inyanei Moshiach and Geula, we will help them with
the appropriate equipment at a minimal price."
Currently, a new, modernized version of the site is in the
final stages of construction by website developer Mr. Elrom Lulai. Among the
changes: tapes of hundreds of Chabad niggunim from Seifer HaNiggunim,
archives of video tapes produced by Liros es Malkeinu, and a plan to broadcast
classes around the clock on Moshiach and Geula that are given all over
the world. Wherever there’s a need, equipment can be installed to allow viewers
to ask the lecturer questions.
Where’s the money coming from?
You would think that such an advanced website needs lots of
money, but the directors of the site don’t elaborate, except to say, "The budget
works on miracles. Hashem gives the daily budget, with each day having its own
miracle," says Linchner. Blau adds, "Despite the miracles we’d be happy to get
some help in order to expand our work."
Where do you get the kochos to work on such
The two directors of the site give the identical answer:
"From the answers and encouragement we get from the Rebbe MH"M. This is what
gives us the kochos to carry on. The feedback we get from around the
world encourages us, like the shliach who wrote, "In your z’chus I
participated in the Rebbe MH"M’s farbrengen and it gives me the strength
to go on.""
In conclusion, Reuven Blau says, "Our main goal in setting up
the site is to bring every Jew to the Rebbe, and to bring the Rebbe to every
Jew. The site is called 770Live because everybody can see 770 live. Through the
site, you can draw chayus from 770 to anywhere in the world."
* * *
Surviving on Miracles
"The site survives on miracles," say the directors, with
stories to back them up. Reuven Blau relates, "When the Twin Towers collapsed,
our site was down. The phone lines for the Internet company we are connected to
were in the building next to the Twin Towers. You’ll remember this was one week
before Rosh HaShana and there was great interest in what was going on in 770
since it was before Tishrei.
"We couldn’t fix the problems since tens of thousands of
lines were down, and technicians weren’t allowed in the area. I decided to do
whatever I could to allow Chassidim to be able to see what was going on in 770
"We had an unbelievable miracle happen (the details of which
can’t be publicized yet), and one day later the site was back to broadcasting."
* * *
Dear Directors of 770Live,
I use your site a lot. I love the live broadcasts, and the
broadcasts from the women’s section. I learn a lot from them. The niggunei
Chabad are nice and I listen to them as I work on my computer.
I was so surprised to see the classes on Tanya, and I learn
them nearly every day, but I was even more surprised to see the shiurim on
Rambam. I was very disappointed when the Rambam classes weren’t updated. Please
update them as soon as possible. Thanks! Chaya