Weekly Chasidic Story #1119 (s5779-37/
15 Iyar, 5779)
A Blessing For a Friend
As it is not my nature to push or order people around, I requested to be in
charge of the area immediately outside the Rebbe's car door -- to open it as
soon as the [Lubavitcher] Rebbe arrives and to close it as soon as the
Rebbe is seated.
Connection: Seasonal -- Lag b'Omer!
Story in PDF
format for more convenient printing.
A Blessing For a Friend
Due to the preparations for the 5744 (1984) "Lag b'Omer
Children's Parade" and the associated heavy activity in front of 770 Eastern
Parkway in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, the World Headquarters of
Chabad, it was decided that the couples who wished to receive blessings for
children from the Lubavitcher Rebbe should not
stand outside 770 as usual. Instead, they should wait at 10:00 am at the door
of the Rebbe's house, a few streets away at 1304 President Street, where they
would have more quiet and privacy.
Knowing that an enormous crowd would gather there, an organizers committee
was established to maintain order, to be enforced by the students of the Kollel
, of which I - Alter Bukiet -- was a member.
As it was not my nature to push or order people around, I had requested to
be in charge of the area immediately outside the Rebbe's car door, to open it
as soon as the Rebbe arrives, and to close it as soon as the Rebbe is seated
to ensure that the Rebbe's driver can depart without any delay.
I will never forget the scene that day. There were many couples. People from
Chabad and those who were not from Chabad were waiting for the Rebbe to leave
The Rebbe came out at 10:00 am. It took twenty minutes for the Rebbe to reach
his car. People were crying and screaming for the Rebbe's attention. It was
The Rebbe got into the car and was seated. I began to close the door, when
suddenly someone stuck his head into the car and exclaimed to the Rebbe that
he is married already for several years and has no children, then hurriedly
stated his name and wife's name to the Rebbe. I happened to notice that this
individual was a Satmar Chossid. Meanwhile, the pressure on the door was mounting.
I tried with all my might to hold the door open so that he wouldn't get smashed.
The Rebbe blessed him, and then, before the man could withdraw, I hear the
Rebbe add something very unusual. He looked directly at the Satmarer and said
something like, "The child will need to have someone to play with."
The guy did not get at all what the Rebbe was trying to say. So the Rebbe said
to him, Zucht Awmain (Say Amen)!" It finally registered and he responded
with a loud shout: " Awmain!" and moved away from the vehicle.
I closed the door and the Rebbe's car pulled away.
* * *
Years pass. I 'graduated' to be the emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Lexington
Massachusetts, near Boston. Life goes on.
Fifteen years after that Lag b'Omer incident, on the 24th of the Jewish month
of Menachem Av 5759 [1999: August 6], on what would have been the 80th birthday
of my father [Rabbi Chaim-Meir Bukiet] of blessed memory,
had he not passed away a year and a half before on the 27th of Tevet, I decided
to visit his grave. As it is located in the Montefiore cemetery in Queens NY,
where also is located the "Ohel," the resting place of the
Lubavitcher Rebbe, it meant that I would have to leave from home soon after
midnight in order to arrive around 4:00 - 5:00 AM. That would give me enough
time to visit my father's place as well as the Rebbe's, and still be able to
get back by 9:00 am to start my regular work day.
At 5 in the morning I was in the Ohel and reading the Maaneh Loshon
(the long texts recited by many at the grave of a tzadik, based on the
Zohar). As I was standing there, I noticed a Satmar chasid enter with two young
boys. I thought it strange that they should be here at such an hour. My bewilderment
increased when after they all finished reciting the Maaneh Loshon, the
father turned to his sons and told them, "take out the maamar (chasidic
Each son took out a printed copy of the maamar traditionally recited
by Chabad boys who reach the age of Bar Mitzvah. The two Satmar boys
proceeded to each read the entire maamar. After leaving the Ohel,
I saw them again in the reception area, standing near the coffee stand. I couldn't
resist the urge to satisfy my curiosity. I approached the father and asked him
in Yiddish what brings him here and at such hour?
He responded: "These are the Rebbe's children, they were born as a result
of the Rebbe's blessing." He continued that he had been married several
years with no children and so decided to try getting a blessing for a son from
"The Rebbe blessed me as I requested and then said to me, "The child
will need to have someone to play with." I was speechless, so the Rebbe
added, "Zucht Awmain!" ('Say Amen'). Three times! Finally I
realized what he intended and I responded with a loud 'Amen.' And in the merit
of his blessing, my wife gave birth to twins, the boys you see in front of you."
I couldn't believe my ears! I must admit I became emotional. "Tell me,
when exactly did this happen? Was it perhaps on Lag b'Omer in 5744? Outside
the Rebbe's House?"
"Yes and Yes, on Lag b'Omer in 5744 outside the Rebbe's house on President
Street inside the Rebbe's car!" confirmed the Satmarer.
"Wow! Amazing!" I exclaimed. "I am the one who held the door
open with all my might that it shouldn't get slammed shut on you. Do you remember
"That's right, of course!" he answered quickly, looking into my eyes
to see if he could remember the face from so long ago. "And now you are
seeing the happy outcome of the story. These twins were born two years and three
months after that Lag b'Omer in the merit of the Rebbe's blessing. They
are our only children and today is their Bar Mitzvah. They are the Rebbe's
It is a 200-year-old tradition in Chabad that the most propitious
time of the year to request a blessing for children from a Lubavitcher Rebbe
is on Lag b'Omer.
Post-yeshiva center for advanced Torah study by young married men.
An important and highly respected chasid of the 6th and
7th Lubavitcher Rebbes, and the father and grandfather of many Lubavitcher emissaries
around the world today
Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from the version on a WhatsApp
Chassidic Stories group.
Rabbi Alter Bukiet is the emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe in Lexington,
Massachusetts. He established what became and still is a very popular Chabad
House and synagogue, of which he is still the Rabbi and Director.
Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor
of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories
to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells
them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.
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