Several years before the fall of Communism,
the Lubavitcher Rebbe began predicting its demise. He even
told one Chabad Chassid, Professor Yirmiahu Branover, to prepare a
housing development in Jerusalem for the new flow of immigrants that
the Rebbe assured him would soon arrive. He said the coming year would
be one of visible miracles and, lo and behold, against all odds and
all the experts, it happened just as the Rebbe foretold. In 1991 the
Iron Curtain quietly opened and hundreds of thousands of Jews poured
out without a shot being fired or even one single protest march.
the nations demanding freedom was a small country wedged between Italy,
Austria and Croatia called Slovenia. But when it did so, communist
Yugoslavia immediately responded by declaring war. The situation was
bleak for the new fledgling state. The massive Yugoslavian army was
planning an air and ground attack replete with chemical warfare tanks
and missiles to crush their frail adversary. But the salvation for
Slovenia was to come from a totally unexpected source.
It so happened that in Toronto Canada lived a Slovenian Jew called
Marian Furlan. He was married to a girl from Israel and one night
the desperate Slovenian government contacted him through their Canadian
ambassador, hoping that perhaps his wife could secure arms or ammunition
through some Israeli connection. He replied that although he could
not help them in that area, perhaps he could arrange a blessing from
the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
Marian and his wife were not observant Jews but had begun to attend
Torah classes in the in the Toronto Chabad House and it was there
that they heard about the Rebbe. Having heard that the Rebbe does
miracles, and knowing that nothing short of a miracle would save Slovenia,
they volunteered to ask the Rebbe for help.
They decided to travel to the Rebbe in Brooklyn and deliver two impassioned
letters for help; one from the Slovenian ambassador and the other
from the pastor of the Slovenian Church in Toronto. The pastor included
in his plea a request to the Rebbe that he save Slovenia from Communism
just as Moses saved the Jews from the evil nation of Amalek when they
left the imprisonment of Egypt.
When they finally arrived at 770 Eastern Parkway, the Rebbe's headquarters,
it was June 7, 1991, at 4 PM Slovenian time. The Rebbe heard the story
and accepted the letters. He then gave his blessing to Slovenia that
the fighting should cease and that there would be peace and prosperity.
(According to one report he asked for the first name of the Prime
Minister and his father's name in order to bless him as well.)
At the very moment the Rebbe was blessing, Yugoslavian Jets were
already in the air only minutes away from the Capitol of Slovenia.
Suddenly they received an order to return to home base. Unexplainably
the Yugoslav government requested a cease-fire and granted independence
to Slovenia. The date was Sunday June 7 shortly after 4 p.m.; the
Rebbe's blessing saved an entire nation of non-Jews!
Shortly thereafter Slovenia printed a booklet in honor of their newly
gained statehood. On the last page is written:
"A Slovenian Jew personally delivered to New York a number
of letters from the Slovene community to the World Jewish Leader Rabbi
Menachem Mendel Shneerson, and on the very day he blessed the Slovenian
nation, hostilities ended."
[Adapted by Yrachmiel Tilles from the rendition of Rabbi Tuvia Bolton
in his weekly email for Yeshiva Ohr Tmimim: http://www.ohrtmimim.org
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (11 Nissan
1902 - 3 Tammuz 1994), became the seventh Rebbe of the Chabad dynasty
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. Hundreds of volumes of his teachings have
been printed, as well as dozens of English renditions.