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Here's My Story is part of JEM's My Encounter with the Rebbe oral history project, dedicated to documenting the life of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.

Here's My Story

Here's My Story

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Generous support for Here's My Story is provided by the Crain Mailing Foundation
I answered that chamber music—especially that composed by Beethoven—is one of the most specialized forms of classical music. I felt that chassidic melodies had exactly the same components. Thus began a lively discussion about music.
One day Rabbi Bernhard arrived at my clinic with a pile of x-rays in his hand. He had a congregant who was very sick, and x-rays had revealed that she needed an operation urgently, but the Rebbe said that she should not have an operation. He asked me to look at the x-rays.
The Rebbe asked us many questions that we never dreamed he would ask and that I had a hard time answering.
After the Previous Rebbe’s passing, the Rebbe assumed the leadership, and the works of wonder began almost immediately. I have several stories to tell about that.
Our family has kept the Rebbe’s note for these many years. It is preserved in a safe, and we take it out only when a relative is giving birth so she can take it to the hospital with her. I myself have a copy, and I carry it with me wherever I go.
When the line ended and I finally came up to him, the Rebbe said to me, “I want to see you later.”
Although I had no experience as a congregational rabbi, I succeeded at it largely because the Rebbe guided me every step of the way—not telling me what to do, just making sure I fulfilled my mission and didn't lose focus on what was important.
Had I gone along on this trip, I would have been smeared by association, and certainly would never been appointed chief rabbi of the Netherlands. It was the Rebbe’s guidance that truly saved me.
I was a complete basket case because I never really wanted to leave South Africa. Our marriage entered a critical stage and Rodney gave me an ultimatum – if I wasn’t prepared to make an effort to try out this new way of life, he would leave me. But then he went to meet the Rebbe...
The Rebbe became like a father to my father. I guess that means the Rebbe became my Zeide. . . My sense is that there wouldn’t have been enough hours in the day if the Rebbe gave everybody as much time as he gave my parents.
The story was so astounding that I decided to confirm it with the Rebbe himself. When I saw him next, I asked him, “Is it true that you stopped Sharon from going on the plane that was hijacked?”
Here was the Rebbe, in his 80s, standing for hours on end, reading an endless stream of letters that contained all the troubles of so many people from around the world . . .
The Rebbe said that when one child is celebrating a major event, the other children often feel left out, forgotten, and they are hurt by being ignored. “So please make sure that when you are planning this wedding, you don’t ignore your younger children.”
Our pediatrician had recommended that we take our daughter to a neurologist. I explained all this to the Rebbe, and I asked him for a special blessing for Raizy.
I was amazed! That the Rebbe should consider the feelings of a child, and that he should take so much trouble to engage her!
A newspaper is for people who read newspapers, and who do not sit and learn Torah all day . . .
He was a rabbi, and what does a rabbi know about property? But here he was, talking to me about the most complicated financial maneuverings. I couldn’t believe it. . .
I asked the Rebbe, “What do you think should be the primary focus of Young Israel for the next ten years?”
Generous support for Here's My Story is provided by the Crain Maling Foundation
Here's My Story is part of JEM's My Encounter with the Rebbe oral history project, dedicated to documenting the life of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.
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