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The Lubavitcher Rebbitzin herself used to arrange the meal before the fast for her husband.

Star of the Pre-Tisha B’Av Menu

Star of the Pre-Tisha B’Av Menu

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Star of the Pre-Tisha B’Av Menu
The Lubavitcher Rebbitzin herself used to arrange the meal before the fast for her husband.

Most of the years, the Lubavitcher Rebbitzin herself arranged the seudah hamafseket (the customary meal eaten late afternoon before the fast) for her husband. In the last years, when she was not strong enough to continue this, the responsibility fell to Rabbi Chesed Halberstam, a chasid who already for many years had been the main one to help them at home.

...the Rebbe...asked, "There aren’t any bagels?"

One year, to start the meal, he set out two small challahs. When the Rebbe came to sit down for the meal, he looked at the two loaves, and asked, "There aren’t any bagels?"

Halberstam looked at the Rebbe, not comprehending.

The Rebbe looked back at him: "In Sanz no one eats bagels on erev Tisha B’Av?" [Chesed Halberstam is from the family of the Sanzer dynasty.]

"I didn’t see," he answered.

He said that at the final meal before the Tisha B’Av fast, one should eat bagels in place of the customary bread. Halberstam turned back at once to the kitchen, rapidly calculating if there were still enough time to call the bakery and order bagels. But, before he could finish dialing, he saw the Rebbe standing with a knife, cutting a hole in the middle of a roll.

"Nu," he said, "I’ve already got a bagel."

Copyright 2003 by, a project of Ascent of Safed (// All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, unless with permission, in writing, from Kabbala Online.

Translated-adapted by Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles from Echyeh v’Asaper. Rabbi Tilles is co-founder of Ascent of Safed, and editor of Ascent Quarterly and the Ascent and Kabbalah Online websites.
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