Weekly Chasidic Story #1375 (5784-32) 7 Nissan 5784 (April 15, 2024)

"The Astonishing Wrong-Line Blessing"

"How did the Rebbe know that! It definitely verifies that he has uncanny powers of perception! However, it also proves he isn't infallible!"

Why this week? The 11th of the Jewish month of Nissan (this Friday) is the anniversary of the birth of the Lubavitcher Rebbe in 1902.

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The Ashtonishing Wrong-Line Blessing


Several years ago, thousands of Jews were crowded into the huge shul at 770 Eastern Parkway, the shul of the Chabad Chassidim in Brooklyn, New York to hear the Lubavitcher Rebbe speak. Not only religious Chassidim but all sorts of Jews were there. Even those who didn't understand a word of Yiddish were hypnotized by the awesomeness of the man.

Mr. David Asulin came to see for himself and, although he didn't exactly believe all the stories, he was glad he came. He had been born in Morocco. There everyone believed in tzadikim; unique Jews who were very G-dly. So all this wasn't completely new to him. In fact, since he moved to France twenty years ago and became comfortably settled there, he had almost forgotten about the tzadikim. This was his first visit to America, where he was going for business. His friends had told him that if he wanted an unforgettable experience he must see the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He did, and it was just as they said.

After about two hours of listening with ten minute pauses between topics, many people stood up and formed lines to the Rebbe, which eventually became one line. When they reached him, he gave each one a bottle of vodka.

Mr. Asulin didn't understand that the bottles were only for those people that were making celebrations (such as weddings or bar mitzvahs) throughout the world; he thought that everyone was entitled to a bottle. So he got in line as well!

When it came his turn and he was face to face with the Rebbe, the Rebbe smiled, gave him a large bottle and said in French, "This is for the wedding."

He was amazed; how did the Rebbe knew he speaks French! That was astounding, it verifies all the other stories he had heard. The Rebbe certainly has uncanny powers of perception! But on the other hand, he decided, what the Rebbe said to him in French also proves he isn't infallible. David had been happily married for years. What he said about the wedding was clearly wrong!

A week later he returned to France. When he showed his wife the bottle they had a good laugh over what the Rebbe said. But when he visited his local Chabad House in Cartel, Rabbi Chaim Malul didn't agree with David's conclusion. Instead, he assured him that in time he would see that it was no mistake.

David laughed to himself. " The Rebbe is such a nice man, and very dedicated. So what if he made a little mistake." And then David promptly forgot the entire incident.

Months later he happened to open the cabinet where he had put the bottle and it reminded him of his experience in Brooklyn. "You know," he said to his wife, "It's a shame that this bottle from the tzadik should remain unused. Let's make a party, invite all our family and some friends, and give them all to toast L'chayim. It will be fun for everyone and a blessing as well. I'm sure they will all come."

They began making plans. At first they thought of making the party at their home, but at the last moment decided it would be less trouble to move it to the small wedding hall of the local shul in Rancee (near Paris) and to have it catered by a local kosher restaurant.

The day of the party arrived and the guests began arriving in good spirits. A small band played happy music and people were exchanging greetings and handshakes. But as they were sitting down to begin the meal, the rabbi of the synagogue entered the room with a smile, looked around for David, and when he found him took him aside and whispered something in his ear.

David turned to the crowd and said: "The Rabbi needs nine men to join him to make a minyan. He says it will take only a few minutes. Who wants to come? I for one am going."

In no time he had the required number following the Rabbi to the next room for what they thought would be prayer, but they were in for a surprise.

In the room stood a bride, a groom and a chupah; it was a wedding! But, surprisingly, the couple was all alone. In fifteen minutes the entire ceremony was over.

David and the other men shook the groom's hand, wished the newlyweds 'Mazal Tov,' and gingerly asked where the wedding meal would be (they also were wondering why there were no guests but were embarrassed to ask).

When the groom answered that no meal had been arranged, David joyously announced, "then you are invited to ours." Instantly David's informal party became a real wedding party. The band played merrily and the men began to dance on one side of the room with the groom, while the women on the other side danced with the bride.

When the dancing finished they all sat down to eat. In the middle of the meal David stood, held up the Rebbe's bottle, cleared his throat for silence and told the story of the Rebbe saying it was "For the Wedding," since he finally understood that the Rebbe wasn't mistaken at all.

"What!" exclaimed the bride. "That bottle is from the Lubavitcher Rebbe for my wedding?" and she burst into tears, tears of sheer joy. When she calmed down she explained.

This was her second marriage. Her first ended in a bitter divorce that, coupled with the fact that she decided to be an observant Jew, resulted in a major rift in her family and none of her relatives showed up. No one came from her husband's side either, but his reason was more simple. He was a convert to Judaism and so he had no Jewish family.

She felt so alone and uneasy that a few weeks previously she decided to immediately act on the suggestion of an acquaintance that she write to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, asking in the letter for some sign that the marriage would succeed.

"And here you are with the Rebbe's blessing!!"

Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from an article in the Ki Teitzei 5777 (2017) email of Good Shabbos Everyone, as posted on ShabbosStories.com.

Biographic Note:
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe (11 Nissan 1902 - 3 Tammuz 1994), became the seventh Rebbe of the Chabad dynasty after his father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, passed away in Brooklyn on 10 Shvat 1950. He is widely acknowledged as the greatest Jewish leader of the second half of the 20th century. Although a dominant scholar in both the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah and fluent in many languages and scientific subjects, the Rebbe is best known for his extraordinary love and concern for every Jew on the planet. His emissaries around the globe dedicated to strengthening Judaism number in the thousands. Many hundreds of volumes of his teachings have been printed, and hundreds of English renditions too.

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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