A Chasidishe Non-Jew // My interactions and impressions of President Milei of Argentina

On September 10, 2023, a week before Rosh Hashanah, I got a call from Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky asking me to meet with this underdog Argentinian candidate for president. He wasn’t expected to have any real chance of winning, but that wasn’t the point. I meet hundreds of people like that. I give them my book, Towards a Meaningful Life, I speak to them for a few minutes, and then we move on. Sometimes something comes of it, and other times nothing does, but it’s usually a nice interaction. Milei was running for president, so I shared the Torah’s view on leadership. I told him that it’s not a political idea; he has to give people hope and confidence and a moral vision of how to live their lives. Then I gave him a brachah that Hashem should help him succeed.
I also told Milei about my years as a chozer, repeating verbatim the Rebbe’s sichos at farbrengens. When I mentioned that, his eyes lit up. I felt like I was speaking to a chasid even though he isn’t Jewish. That’s why I call him a chasidishe non-Jew.
Milei was very intrigued by the intellectual aspect and the ability to remember talks that lasted so many hours. He said, “You sat and listened to the master and absorbed everything.” He was fascinated by the idea that one person would listen to another person and hang on to every word and remember it. I told him that this is what the Jewish people have done for thousands of years with Torah Sheb’al Peh. The words were holy; they weren’t just nice words, so we wanted to retain them and make them ours.
I saw right away that there was something unique here, but I didn’t know where this was going. Then I gave him my book, we hugged and took a picture, and that was it.

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