Weekly Chasidic Story #1258 (s5782-20) 15 Shevat 5782/Jan.17, 2021)

"An Anonymous Kindness"

During a Shabbat evening meal while on vacation at a Florida hotel in 1988, a chasidic women at her table said to Mrs. Edith Bloch: "I am very sorry about the passing of your Rebbetzin Schneerson. I have a nice story to tell you about her."

Connection: Next Sunday night – Monday, the 22nd day of the Jewish month of Shvat, is the 33rd yahrzeit of the Rebbetzin Chaya Moussia.

Story in PDF format for more convenient printing

An Anonymous Kindness

Mrs. Edith Bloch and her husband, Avraham-Abba (now both deceased), were in Florida at a hotel on vacation in late winter 1988. Friday night, at the Shabbat meal, a chasidic woman sitting at her table said to her: "You look like a Lubavitcher, I am very sorry about the passing of your Rebbetzin Schneerson. I have a nice story to tell you about her."

This is the episode she related.

"A group of us women were Bobover chasidim and Holocaust survivors. We were all young and married, yet still had not merited to have children. Since we were the only survivors of our large families, we each went to the Bobover Rebbe for blessings, but to no avail.

"One of the group decided to go to the Lubavitcher Rebbe for a blessing because she heard he was a 'baal mofais' - a holy individual who has brought about miracles from G-d. About 10 of us women decided to join her.

"We knew where the Rebbe lived, because at the time the Bobover Rebbe lived right next door to him. However, when we came to 1304 President Street, we got cold feet and couldn't decide who should be the one to knock on the Rebbe's door.

"We were standing on the sidewalk talking about it, when a car pulled out of the driveway. The woman driver walked out of the car and asked us what she could do for us. We stumbled over our words, but finally we told her about our predicament.

"The woman took out a pad and pen from her purse and asked us for our names. She then proceeded to give us the name of a fertility doctor in Manhattan and told us to call him in a few days."

This chasidishe woman continued and said, "I don't know what happened to all the other women. We all went our own ways. This is what happened with me.

"I called the doctor's office and the person at the other end told me that she could make me an appointment with this very busy doctor in a year. I started to cry and the person on the other end asked me to repeat my name. She then told me to wait. A few minutes later she came back to the phone, and told me that they actually have an appointment for me already reserved for the following week.

"Through that doctor," she continued, "G-d blessed me with a daughter. And that daughter has given me 10 grandchildren!

"Later, I found out that the person who made the appointments for us was none other than the Rebbetzin herself."

Connection: Next Sunday night - Monday, the 22nd day of the Jewish month of Shvat, is the 33rd yahrzeit of the Rebbetzin Chaya Moussia.

Source: Mrs. Edith Bloch told this story at a Friday night post-meal "Oneg Shabbos" women's gathering, shortly a few weeks after she heard the Bobover woman's story. Adapted and supplemented by Yerachmiel Tilles.
Rebbetzin Yehudis (Edith) Bloch served as Director at Sholom Senior Center in Brooklyn for several decades. The founder of the "Friday Night Women's Oneg Shabbos Torah Study Group", she organized speakers for the Friday night shiurim for women in Crown Heights for over 50 years. Her hospitality was legendary; she hosted many yeshiva boys for meals on Shabbos, and her basement was lined wall to wall with cots for guests to sleep. She passed away on the 4th day of Chanukah in 2019 at age 91. (excerpted from a eulogy on COLlive.com)

Biographic note:
Rebbetzin Chaya Moussia Schneerson (of blessed memory: 25 Adar 5661- 22 Shvat 5748 / March 1901 - Feb. 1988) was the daughter of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef-Yitzchak Schneersohn. On 14 Kislev 5689 (Dec. 1928), she married the future Rebbe, her distant cousin, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, in Warsaw, in a wedding attended by many Chasidic rebbes and leading Torah scholars of the generation. She devoted herself totally to supporting her husband in his role as a leader of world Jewry, and was known in her own right for her modesty, erudition, piety and good deeds.

Yerachmiel 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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