Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"The Rebbe's Face Shone with Tremendous Joy"

"Later that evening Rabbi's Cunin and Aharonov farbrenged upstairs in 770. During the farbrengen they revealed some details that the Rebbe had spoken to them in Yechidus."

-From a students diary, August, 1991.

In 1991, the Russian government began to open up many archives that had been kept secret from the time of the communists. Several Chabad rabbis engaged in vigorous efforts to obtain documents which related to Chabad and its leaders. Among the things they managed to obtain were the files describing the treatment and interrogation of the Rebbe's father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Schneerson. On the 4th of Elul 5751 Rabbi Shlomo Cunin and Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Aharonov presented to the Rebbe the protocols of the sessions that the K.G.B had held with the Rebbe's father.

The two were called into a surprise Yechidus by the Rebbe (which lasted 6 minutes!). Following the Yechidus they spent the rest of the evening farbrenging in the small study hall upstairs in 770. They related some of what they were told in the private audience with the Rebbe. I would like to present a part of what the Rebbe discussed with them in the Yechidus, along with parts of the interrogations from the protocols.

Rabbis Cunin and Aharonov relate what the Rebbe had spoken to them in Yechidus after they presented to the Rebbe his father files:

"The Rebbe's face shone with tremendous joy. We gave the Rebbe the file and he began looking through it. He then began a discussion on Pidyon Shvuyim (the redemption of captives), and said regarding Pidyon Shvuyim (the books) - we must return them at once… this is of great importance! The Rebbe then asked about Mrs. Veronica, the lawyer who was active in returning the books. Concluding the Yechidus, the Rebbe then said that the next file will come with Moshiach Tzsidkenu! (Amen!)"

Excerpts from the fie of Reb Levik's Testimony to the K.G.B:

Interrogator: Where is your family relative Joseph Schneerson?

Reb Levik: He is in Poland.

Interrogator: What is his business there?

Reb Levik: I don't know.

Interrogator: Do you have correspondence with Joseph Schneerson?

Reb Levik: From time to time (mostly before the high holidays) I would bless him and he would bless me. But the correspondence stopped six years ago.

Interrogator: From which countries did you receive letters of blessings from him?

Reb Levik: I don't remember; Poland or Riga.

Interrogator: Why are you avoiding from answering the truth?

Reb Levik: I am not trying to avoid anything, I will repeat myself again: I do not remember from were these letters came.

Interrogator: Did you ever get a visa to leave Soviet Union?

Reb Levik: In the year of 1924 or 1925 I got an invitation from Palestine with a request to serve as the Rabbi of Jerusalem; I refused the offer.

Picture description: a Chanukah Rally in early 1970's

Good Shabbos.

Copyright © Menachem Kirschenbaum 2007

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