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Thank You Chavie!

Friday, 9 February, 2018 - 8:44 am

Job well done, Verizon. In their Super Bowl ad "Answering the Call” they thanked first responders who sacrifice for total strangers, and they asked us to do the same. Recently I’ve been reading with Chaya the story of the pilgrims. William and Dorothy Bradford wanted to create a colony in the new world that would be founded on the principal of individual freedom. Yet, they understood that the voyage would be tough, so they left their only son, three-year-old John, behind in Holland, until the time would be ripe for him to join them. Sacrifice is never easy, sometimes even illogical, which is why we admire those who choose that path.

On Wednesday, Chabad Chassidim commemorated the 30th Yahrtzait anniversary of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, the Rebbe’s beloved wife of almost sixty years. Growing up in Crown Heights, a mere three blocks away from their home, I never merited to see the Rebbetzin, nor did my mother who grew up in the same neighborhood. The Rebbetzin was extremely private, would refer to herself as “Mrs. Schneerson” when calling the local groceries and was the prime reason The Rebbe agreed to assume the leadership of “Lubavitch” when his father-in-law passed away in 1950. She could’ve kept the Rebbe for herself, they could’ve continued living a private life like they did in Berlin, Paris and for a decade in New York, but she sacrificed that life so that the world could have a Rebbe.

In this week’s Torah portion, Mishpatim, we read that “you shall not mistreat a stranger, nor shall you oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” G-d wants us to recognize the sacrifice of the convert; the life and lifestyle, the family and friends, they’ve given up becoming a Jew, and forewarns us about mistreating them. Today I say thank you publicly to the Rebbetzin. All those moments that the Rebbe spent with me, talking to me, giving me dollars for charity and blessings for my birthday, writing letters to my parents for my birth and Upshernish, those were moments that belonged to her, it was her husband, and she gave them to me, to the world.

Chavie is spending a few days in Brooklyn celebrating the Rebbetzin’s life with thousands of her peers from around the globe. These amazing women are, at times, less noticed than their husbands who are running around visiting prisons, addressing communal issues, raising funds and drinking lots of coffee with lots of people. Yet, I assure you that without my bedrock Chavie, like with the Rebbe and Rebbetzin, I would never be able to do what I do, never be able to spend the hours I do and never be able to push through those unbearable moments of challenge. Thank you dear Chavie for your enormous sacrifice, being my Rebbetzin, my anchor, and the amazing mother of our five children.

What is mine and what is yours, is hers!


May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May He protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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