Sunday, August 8, 2010

"The Rebbe is always Tired"

“Rebbetzin Chana,” obm, mother of the of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, was a heroine in her own right. A staunch helpmate to her exiled husband during the Stalinist regime, she was reunited years later, in postwar Paris, with her son, and was successfully brought to the U.S. She settled in Crown Heights, where she lovingly supported her son’s activities, and where the Rebbe tended to her faithfully until her death. The Avner Institute would like to present a charming encounter told by Mrs. Slonim from Jerusalem who merited to meet with the Rebbe’s mother on several occasions.

The Rebbe Archive would like to present a beautiful photo of the Rebbe, With special thanks to Rabbi Mendy Hayward.

Good Shabbos

Mrs. Slonim relates:

"In 1960, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Rebbe’s leadership, I traveled to New York. Upon my arrival Rabbi Hodakov, the Rebbe's secretary, asked me to address the annual Chabad Women's (N’shei Chabad) convention, which coincided with my visit.

Entering the convention hall, I immediately noticed Rebbetzin Chana, the Rebbe's revered mother, motioning with her hand that I should approach her. The Rebbetzin, who knew me from previous visits, looked at me after I had reached her, and confronted me. “You've been here for a while, and you still haven't called to say hello? Please get in touch with me, so we can make a date to meet.” A date was decided upon: Wednesday, at four o’clock my husband and I were to visit the Rebbetzin at her home.

Arriving at her Brooklyn apartment, we were greeted by the Rebbetzin’s legendary graciousness, as she had us sit down, trying to ensure that we would be at ease. Despite her courteous efforts, we nevertheless felt uncomfortable, aware that the Rebbe could walk in anytime while we were there. Discerning the cause of our discomfort, she assured us that the Rebbe, informed of the expected guests, had already visited and would not return during their visit.
As we began to relax, she told us several fascinating episodes from the Rebbe's childhood. I remember one of the incredible stories:

Once, when the Rebbe was a small child, people came to his mother’s home to partake in seudah shlishit, the third meal of Shabbos, after which the Shabbos is over. When the participants, wondering if Shabbos had not yet ended, inquired about the time, the Rebbe had simply looked, through the window, at the stars and told them the exact time.

This is just one of the stories the Rebbetzin shared with us. She also confided in us her worries over her son’s health, since the Rebbe was always so tired and busy.

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